Four full albums from the Columbia
Records run by Bobby Bare – packaged here in a single set! Drunk & Crazy is a set that has Bobby Bare flirting a bit with some of the country rock modes that emerged more strongly in the second half of the 70s – fuller rhythms, stronger guitars, and the kind of catchy tunes that helped Bare win over a new audience at the time – with work that's a surprisingly great showcase for the kind of wit he always brought to his music. The approach has some nice echoes of earlier Austin material, which brings out some nice qualities in Bobby's style – and the set features a fair bit of material from previous songwriters that Bobby always worked with – including a number of tracks from Shel Silverstein, and a few more by Bob McDill. The set includes a great take on the Guy Clark classic "Desperados Waiting For The Train" – plus "Drunk & Crazy", "Food Blues", "The World's Last Truck Drivin Man", "Song Of The South, "Bathroom Tissue Paper Letter", and "Watchin TV". Next is As Is – a nice little set that returns Bobby Bare to a more traditionally country-based mode, thanks to production help from Rodney Crowell! The vibe's still a bit contemporary, but nicely laidback at times – and titles include "Let Him Roll", "New Cut Road", "She Is Gone", "Take Me As I Am", "Dollar Pool Fool", and "Summer Wages". Ain't Got Nothin To Lose is a nicely rollicking set from Bobby Bare – material that's much more mature and confident than some of his earliest work, and maybe a bit more in the biting style of some of his late 70s material, post RCA. There's a nice mix of songs on the set – including a remake of "The Old Swimmin Hole", which Bobby recorded in the late 60s – plus "Cold Day In Hell", "I've Been Rained On Too", "If You Ain't Got Nothin", "So Good To So Bad", and "Praise The Lord & Send Me The Money". Last up is Drinkin From The Bottle Singin From The Heart – a set that really returns Bobby Bare to the territory of his revelatory mid 70s recordings for RCA – a set that features plenty of sharp songs penned by Shel Silverstein, and production by Bobby himself! Instrumentation is often nicely restrained, with a nice focus on the kind of witty vocal twists that makes Bare a perfect interpreter of this material – on titles that include "Rodeo Queen", "Me & Jimmy Rodgers", "Three Legged Man", "Drinkin From The Bottle", "Diet Song", "Jennifer Johnson & Me", "Stacy Brown Got Two", and "The Jogger".