A Storm, A Tree, My Mother’s Head

Bobby Bare Jr.

Three-fifths of MMJ play session band on this one from a Nashville son of a gun. You’ll notice a familiar rowdiness in late-era Jacket, but their current bandmaster has recently tap-danced through an emotional minefield. To abbreviate: Since The Longest Meow, Bare has become a father twice over; got divorced; nearly lost his mom to a storm that brought a tree down on their house; lost his own home in a divorce, then got it back. Now, as life appears to be on the upswing (new girlfriend and a baby on the way), Jr. distills this rollercoaster into high-stepping rockers (“The Sky Is the Ground”) and heat-seeking poison arrows (“One of Us Has Got to Go”). A documentary is in the works, and if the visuals match the sonics, Jr. will look like a worthy adversary, beating adversity into the ground like your favorite schoolyard bully.