IR SoCal Welcomes: Dare Dukes – Bakersfield
They said, “Don’t go. Nothing in Bakersfield”
From Savannah, Georgia – we welcome artist Dare Dukes back to the storied country & rock byways (Merle Haggard, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead) of the crown jewel of the area, Bakersfield. No doubt this town contains some of the eccentric characters on their individual missions that Dare describes his music as embodying.
Dare was born and raised in San Jose, and grew up as the state blossomed into what he calls, “exit-ramp culture”—a maze of smoked-glass franchises and cookie-cutter subdivisions that took root along the vast network of interstate freeways. “Everyone knows the clichés about suburbia: It’s a stark, sanitized landscape, pretty much soulless,” Dare explains. “No one needs to remind us of that. I’m more interested in the poetry I see there–the weirdness, the anomalies, the resistance. Even in this unlikely grid you can find courageous people and precious things.
“Bakersfield,” which Dare describes as “the closest thing I have to a traditional song,” is heartbreaking in its spare depiction of lonely desperation. Minimally arranged, the song builds measure by measure, as visually arresting lyrics describe a man’s search for his lost lover. By the time trumpet and trombone blow in to announce the protagonist’s arrival in Bakersfield, the song has created a large and empathetic space, large enough for the listener step into.
“So ease off the clutch and dip from the Tehachapis into the San Joaquin”
Intro Sound Sample: Grateful Dead @ Bakersfield Civic Auditorium 1-14-78 (re: arrest of their soundman)