Issue April 1, 2008

A Bare-bones conversation

Wednesday, April 2
From potatoes to pints to penance at area Catholic churches, Louisville’s Irish heritage is rich and visible. Now, the musical traditions of the Emerald Isle have also been exported to the Palace Theatre courtesy of Celtic Woman. The group’s artful (and humongous) song and dance production closes tonight at the Palace Theatre (625 S. Fourth St., 583-4555).

Friday, April 4
One senses a real urgency in the music of the Dead City Rejects. Ten years into their punk rock odyssey, they still assault North American audiences. The Rejects appear with King Sonic at 10 p.m. Friday at Third Street Dive (440 S. Third St., 239-8004). The same night, esteemed pickers Todd and Kevin Autry appear with Monroe County as part of C.R. Wilson’s Bluegrass Music Series at the Shepherdsville Music Place (Ky. 44, three miles west of I-65 at Exit 117). This all-ages, family friendly event costs a mere $10.

Bobby Bare, Jr.
Bobby Bare, Jr.

Wednesday, April 9
We all know this story. In 1994, without much explanation, Jay Farrar fled Uncle Tupelo to form Son Volt, and Jeff Tweedy, his high-school bandmate, was left to absorb the UT touring line-up into the first incarnation of Wilco.

Farrar’s cast of supporting musicians has fluctuated over the years. Still, each of the Son Volt albums boast intricate arrangements that float around Farrar’s mournful vocal inflections in a way that entrances listeners. This is especially true of The Search, which the band continues to feature on its current concert trek.
Next week, Son Volt returns to Headliners Music Hall (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088) on Wednesday. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets for the 18-and-over show are $20. As a bonus, Bobby Bare Jr. will also be part of the package. Bare, a second generation Nashville rebel, is beloved in these parts. LEO had a few questions for him.

LEO: What’s been going on?
Bobby Bare Jr
.: Well, a tree fell on my mother’s head, I’m getting a divorce, and I’m supposed to be in a movie with Jack Black. Seriously.

LEO: Before his death in 1999, author Shel Silverstein personally critiqued all of your lyrics. What were his commentaries like?
BBJ
: He mostly just told me when I was lazy and when I wasn’t communicating effectively. And then he was a fantastic cheerleader, too. He’d tell me when I’d do good work. He was super awesome. I’m actually working on a Shel Silverstein tribute album with Jerry Reed, My Morning Jacket, Black Keys, Black Crowes, Ray Price and my dad.

LEO: Speaking of the old man, what is one good lesson about the music business that you learned from your father? Are there days when you wish you were still a bike mechanic?
BBJ
: That’s funny, because I’m changing a tire on my mountain bike as we speak. The biggest lesson my father tried to teach me about the music business was “stay out,” but I didn’t heed that. My life is way more complicated and interesting than if I’d stayed on the path of a bike mechanic.

LEO: You’ve toured with some interesting folks over the years. What was it like to be on the road with Aerosmith?
BBJ
: It sounds awesome. But really, we were playing to people waiting in line to pee. Just being around Aerosmith was great though. Toys in the Attic is still one of my favorite records.

LEO: Obviously there is a strong bond between you and the guys in MMJ. Who do you think has the best hair and/or beard in that group?
BBJ
: Well, Patrick (Hallahan), obviously, and he really uses it. It is a beautiful thing. Let me just add that I went to Farm Aid in Louisville back in the ’90s and had never seen so many hilarious mullets in my life. One guy had what we called the ultra-mullet … it was very exaggerated and bright red. I hope he comes out next week.  

Contact the writer at
leo@leoweekly.com