Things Change

Bobby Bare

Hypermedia, 2017

http://www.bobbybare.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/07/2017

Though one (like myself) might think this disc has the younger Bobby Bare at the helm, this release is actually from Bobby Bare Sr., his first in half a decade. At 82 years old, Bare’s career has has spanned seven decades and even involved a stint with acting, though his biggest hits “Detroit City” and “500 Miles Away From Home” occurred in the early days. Bare has remained consistently prolific, and this time gets company in his songwriting from Guy Clark, Mary Gauthier, and Max T. Barnes.  nbtc__dv_250

The lead off and title track, “Things Change” brings a firm country spirit with twang, fiddles, and Bare's wise, gruff vocals. It then flows into “The End,” which is a more maudlin affair with ballad-like singing that's as emotional as it is endearing. “Ain't No Sure Thing” and “The Trouble With Angels” are in line with timeless country rock, as both are armed with plenty of warm storytelling and equally warm instrumentation.

The middle of the album brings us the rugged, mountain-esque “I Drink,” which is heavy on the guitars and contemplation; it is sure to resonate with those who appreciate their alcohol. The more straightforward country tunes “Mercy Now” and “Trophy Girl” are both delivered with rock 'n' roll spirit and are certainly as memorable as anything else present on the album.

Things Change ends on the soft reflection of “Where Did It Go,” the upbeat and dance friendly “You Got The Light,” and Bare's reinvented version of “Detroit City” with Chris Stapleton that gives his 1963 classic a swift kick in the ass with plenty of updated spirit.

All in all, the sage-like performance here reminds us just why Bare is etched into The Country Music Hall Of Fame. While his days of mainstream attention are probably gone, there isn't a bad song here, which is something that thankfully hasn't changed in Bare's lengthy and illustrious career.

Rating: B

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