Bobby Bare - vocals, guitar; Tom Hamilton - steel guitar, dobro; Dave Hargis - lead guitar; Gary Kubal - drums; Ken Smith - bass; Lewis Stephens - keyboards
Bare recorded a half dozen shows between 1982 and 1986 for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio concert series, and this performance, the first of two recorded on March 16, 1982 at the Paradise club in Boston, is among one of the best.
Bare was on his Ain't Got Nothing To Lose Tour, and used the occasion to open his shows with the song of the same name. From there, it is one gem after another. "Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother," and his comical slow ballad, "The Winner" (about a guy who always is the winner, but in the end, is really the loser) are among the highlights. He crosses over into country-rock with Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy," which Bare took to the #1 spot on the country charts in the late 1970s.
The rest of the show is classic Bare, complete with his "I could give a flying fuck" attitude. He praises the joys of too many drugs and alcohol (especially the latter), and curses a litany of hard hearted woman. "Cold Day In Hell," written by his good friend Shel Silverstein, is a great example. But the fun keeps on coming with songs like "Praise The Lord And Send Me The Money" and "Tequila Sheila."
Before Willie or Waylon were household names, Bobby Bare was banging out great country classics, many of which were among the earliest in the repertoire to have double entendre titles. In fact, it was Bobby Bare who introduced Waylon Jennings to RCA Records and launched his career as a country singer, way back in 1965. Aligned with the Outlaw country movement that also included Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and others, Bare wrote plenty of songs about unrequited love, living in Texas, and drinking too much alcohol.
Bare has been on and off the country charts since the late 1950s, but his biggest success came in the latter half of the '60s and the '70s, when he took control of his career and his recordings and began producing himself. He would go on for several more years with this band and Columbia Records. By the end of the decade, however, he would be semi-retired with a concentration on limited touring and independently released records. His son, Bobby Bare Jr., a successful alternative artist and producer, eventually got him back in the saddle where he would once again tour and record on a yearly basis.