Rich Mahan is a Roots music Buddha whose songs always makes sure the faithful leave with a grin on their respective faces after an encounter with his latest album release, Blame Bobby Bare. The opening track, “Math”, follows a character that plays the lead role in many of Rich’s songs. He is a guy who clearly means well, even if the end result does not completely fall onto the plus side. A life of figures plays like a movie where the final scene always goes right back to high school and the line, “it was my understanding there would be no math”. When he runs out of fingers, he is out of answers.
Blame Bobby Bare is a bouncy, sometimes bumpy, ride through ten tracks that have their sight set on having a good time. High school dilemmas make a return appearance on “Mama Found My Bong” as a young football player comes home to a surprise in the center of his bed. Dirty looks and ‘wait ‘til your father gets home” build the case for trouble as twangy guitar licks chase the story line. Lovable guys love their brew and a quartet of Blame Bobby Bare tunes stew themselves in alcohol. “Rehab Is For Quitters” thumbs its nose at slogans, “Overserved in Alabam” leaves the bar with a slurred goodbye and “I’ll Get Off the Booze” makes the promise that the deal is “I’ll get off the booze when you get off my back”. Drinking alone steps aside as “Tequila Y Mota” introduces us to a group of weekenders heading for the man cave with one goal in mind, “let’s make this weekend a dive in the deep end”.
Existing relationships take a hit in “Put A Little Lovin’ on Me” as celebrity crushes are weighed against real life and the poor sucker whose body wears different faces reminds his love interest that “Ringo Starr didn’t pay for your car” and “Johnny Cash never took out your trash”. A morning after phone call becomes one damn sexy song in “Favorite Shirt” as our hero dials last night’s party house to inquire about the loss of some clothing to find that the hostess has indeed found the item, and is currently wearing it…..and that is all she is wearing.
Explaining the album title in the liner notes for Blame Bobby Bare, Rich Mahan tells the tale, “Growing up, I remember how stressed out my dad would get form work. On the weekends, he would cut loose and blow of some steam by cranking up these great records by Bobby Bare. He would dance around the living room playing air guitar to “Tequila Sheila” and “Dropkick My Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life”. These songs made him so happy. I wanted to tap into that power and make a record that makes people feel good. So if you wonder where I got the inspiration for these songs, you can Blame Bobby Bare.”