The Post Weekend, I
  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2006

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Bobby Bare Jr. took an odd approach to recording The Longest Meow, the frontman’s most recent release. In addition to his usual backing band (the Young Criminals Starvation League), Bare managed to rope in some additional members from My Morning Jacket, Clem Snide, and Lambchop. After this all-star ensemble of eleven members had been fully assembled, Bare led the crew through a beer-soaked, all-day recording session. Eleven hours later, the eleven tracks that comprise The Longest Meow were completed.

Bare didn’t bring all eleven musicians to his gig at The Mercury Lounge on Friday night, but his four-piece Starvation League played with all the immediacy, fast-paced passion, and sheer volume of their last recording. Bobby Bare Jr’s music is self-conscious Southern rock – part Drive-By Truckers, part bourbon, part redneck psychedelia – and it all goes down with the fiery smoothness of a Jack-and-coke. Four-part harmonies mix with guitar feedback and organ solos, creating a sound that is faithfully captured on The Longest Meow (kudos to co-producer Bobby Jones for leaving things wonderfully sloppy) but truly takes off when it’s played at earsplitting levels.

We left The Mercury Lounge feeling deaf and happy. It was a nice start to the weekend.


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