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CD Review: Bobby Bare – Things Change

THINGS CHANGE: First studio album in five years from Hall of Famer Bobby Bare

They
say the more things change, the more they stay the same. One thing that
has stayed with us is the talent and artistry of one of country music’s
living legends, Bobby Bare.

THINGS CHANGE is the title
of the new album from Bare, a Country Music Hall of Famer who has
chalked up close to sixty Top Forty hits starting back in 1962. And now
here is, at age 82, out there still performing and promoting his new
album.

Changes are no stranger to Bare. In 1959, he
wrote a song, titled “The All American Boy,” for his friend Bill
Parsons, and Bare cut a demo of the song for Parsons who went on to
record it. However, the record label preferred Bare’s demo version and
that was the one they released, taking the song to number two on the
Billboard Hot 100. But nobody thought to change the information on the
label, so every copy went out printed with the artist’s name as Bill
Parsons, rather than Bobby Bare.

Bare’s luck changed for
the better when he was signed to RCA Victor by the legendary Chet Atkins
who could spot talent when he heard it. His second RCA single, “Detroit
City” – written by Mel Tillis and Danny Dill – won Bare a GRAMMY in
1964 for Best Country/Western Recording. It was the first of many hits,
including “500 Miles Away From Home” and “Four Strong Winds.”

There’s
a new version of “Detroit City” on the new album, but again Bare goes
for a change rather than a straight recreation of the smash hit: this
time, Bare sings it as a duet with Chris Stapleton – who wasn’t even
born when the original charted – and gives us a fresh new take on a song
we all know so well.

The ten songs on THINGS CHANGE all
find Bare in age-defying fine vocal form on cuts such as the Mary
Gauthier-penned “I Drink,” an introspective ballad perfectly suited to
Bare’s mellowed voice.

Bare has always been known for the
wry fun he brings to his live performances, and that sense of humor is
evident here on ”Trophy Girl” as he sings, “I never thought that we’d go
on forever / ‘Cause trophy girls don’t hang around too long / Always
looking ‘round for greener pastures / And when they find something
better they move on.”

The album’s title track itself has
an interesting pedigree: Apparently inspired by Bare’s friend, the late
songwriter Hoyt Axton, “Times Change” was written by Bare and performed
with Norwegian musician Petter Oien, becoming one of Norway’s finalists
in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

The new album,
produced by singer/songwriter Max T. Barnes, will be released May 26 by
Hypermedia Nashville and BFD through RED Distribution. Autographed
pre-order copies of THINGS CHANGE are available now at
www.bobbybare.com.

As Bobby Bare says of his new album:
“This is a special collection of songs to me, not just another record.
Things do change but my love for songwriters and the fans never, ever
will!”

© 2017 Preshias Harris for Country Music News International

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