Thanks to his show on cable television's Nashville Network, Bobby Bare is becoming known more as an interviewer of country singers than as a singer himself. But he still performs too, thank goodness. The Ohio-born veteran's "outlaw" vocal style isn't outstanding, but he's one heck of an entertainer in his own sly way, as the first of two shows Friday night at the Palomino testified.
Armed with a few outrageous jokes and a bunch of funny songs by his buddy Shel Silverstein, Bare has a lot of fun throttling the redneck mentality. Still, he manages to have his beer and drink it too, belting out those old hits like "Detroit City" with a lot of feeling, aided by an able four-piece band. Meandering through the maudlin and the madcap without getting trapped in either camp, Bare (who plays tonight and Tuesday at the Crazy Horse) is a small treasure.