Record #343: Bobby Bare Jr. & Co.’s ‘Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein’

Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein is a collection of covers orchestrated by local musician and country-music legacy Bobby Bare Jr. Bare’s father, a successful singer-songwriter, was known for his friendship and collaborations with Silverstein — the legendary illustrator, poet, author of A Light in the Attic and The Giving Tree and songwriter — and this album features performances from Andrew Bird, Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Frank Black, Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams and more. There’s even a rehashing of the Silverstein-penned, Grammy-nominated “Daddy What If?” — it was originally recorded by Bare Jr. and his father when Bare the younger was just 8 years old, and here it’s performed by Bare Jr. and his young daughter. Pretty precious. I must say, this record was approached with an enormous degree of respect and admiration, and each artist’s interpretation of his or her given tune is unique but still in keeping with the original tone of the song. Some of these arrangements and performances (Kristofferson’s and Prine’s, especially) are truly breathtaking. These folks should be proud of themselves. It’s one of the better tributes I’ve ever heard.

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