Southern Sounds

First Listen: Bobby Bare, Jr.

By Jed PortmanApril 3, 2014

Bobby Bare, Jr. earned his first Grammy nomination in 1974. He was eight years old, and he had just recorded a popular duet with his father, country music legend Bobby Bare, titled “Daddy What If.” Bare, Jr. has been in the music business ever since. He sold t-shirts at his father’s concerts as a teenager, and then handled lighting for a parade of Nashville acts while honing his writing skills under the tutelage of Shel Silverstein, who was a close family friend and a prolific songwriter in his own right.

After recording with the group Bare, Jr. in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he embarked on a prolific solo career with help from an ever-evolving backing band known as the Young Criminals’ Starvation League. Now, he and the band are delivering their first record in four years, Undefeated. And the first track to go public is right here. “The Big Time” is a see-you-later song delivered with broken-hearted confidence and a bank of driving pianos, guitars, and horns that suggest both Stax-era Memphis soul and the Beatles circa 1967. Take a listen below, and keep an ear out on April 15, when both the full album and Bare Jr.'s latest tour launch.