Four late 70s albums from Bobby Bare – all brought together in a single set! First up is Me & McGill – a really special sort of album from the great Bobby Bare – a set that's a collaborative effort with songwriter Bob McDill, as you can probably guess from the title! Bob gives Bobby tunes that are nicely different than some of the mid 70s material he was recording for RCA – maybe a bit more down to earth, with less easy attempts at wit – and at a level that show a maturing Bare, in styles that are similar to some of the shifts that Merle Haggard was taking at the time. Titles include "If You Think I'm Crazy Now", "Look Who I'm Cheating On Tonight", "The Woman In Every Man's Life", "Tired Of The Road Joe", "You Made A Believer Out Of Me", and "Till I Get On Feet". Sleeper Wherever I Fall is Bobby Bare's first album for Columbia Records – a bit of a return to straighter material than some of his concept records for RCA from a few years back – material that really helps the maturing singer find a way towards some of the adult territory that some of his contemporaries were handling at the time – but all without ever sounding too commercial or mainstream, maybe a shift towards territory of some of the non-outlaw material of David Allen Coe. Titles include "Hot Afternoon", "Goin Up's Easy Goin Down's Hard", "Sleep Tight Good Night Man", "What Did It Get Me", "The Last Time", and "Rodeo Queen". Bare is a record that reunites Bobby with songwriter Shel Silverstein – the talent who really helped him reignite his music
at the start of the 70s! The songs here are maybe a bit less concept, or joke-oriented than some of Silverstein's more famous material – a great reminder that Shel can be a hell of a songwriter in more conventional modes – and a few tracks on the record are by other writers too. Throughout it all, that great Bobby Bare vocal approach really makes the best of the songs – titles that include "This Guitar Is For Sale", "Too Many Nights Alone", "Greasy Grit Gravy", "Sing For The Song", and "Yard Full Of Rusty Cars". Down & Dirty is a strong live set from Bobby Bare – a singer we mostly associate with studio work, but who's clearly at home here in front of a crowd! There's maybe some slightly more rockish phrasing in some of the instrumentation – but the live presentation keeps things from ever sounding commercially overdone – and the songs are a mix of material from the kinds of singers who always bring out the best in Bobby Bare – a fair bit from Shel Silverstein, plus more from Bob McDill, Townes Van Zandt, and Kris Kristofferson. Titles include "Some Days Are Diamonds", "Numbers", "Tequila Sheila", "I Can't Watch The Movie Anymore", "Qualudes Again", "Down To My Last Come & Get Me", and "Good For Nothing Blues".