My brother and I are always calling each other with random questions or observations. The random nature of these questions and observations of course dictates that the need to share them comes at random times. Thankfully, we live in the 21st century, which means that we all have portable communicator devices (read: cell phones) on our person at all times – which is how I found myself standing outside a bar at one in the morning discussing outdated colloquial expressions.
My brother thought it was funny that we still use the expression “hold your horses.” Neither of us has ever even touched a horse, much less rode one or, uh, held one. I imagine that this is the case for most people. The majority of us are city dwellers. Outside of childhood trips to the petting zoo, we don’t come into regular contact with horses. We drive cars or take public transportation to get around and we ride bikes and skateboards for fun. But we don’t say, “stop the bus” or “hold the Volvo” when we want someone to settle down. We say “hold your horses” and everyone knows what that means, despite the fact that very few of us have any first hand experience with horses or the effort it takes to hold them.
Another expression that falls into this category is “jump on the bandwagon.” Without Google I wouldn’t even know what a bandwagon is, but I certainly understand that “jumping on the band wagon” means doing something because a lot of other people are doing it. Often times this expression is leveled at someone as an accusation, the implication being that they are incapable of independent thought. Sometimes though, things become popular all of a sudden and it’s hard to say whether you’re jumping on the bandwagon per se, or you just happened to be on another wagon heading in the same direction.
Which is where we find ourselves with singer Benjy Ferree. He’s got a new album out on Domino Records, and that album has been accompanied by the standard new album promotional effort. This means that anybody with an ear to the ground is going to catch on at around the same time. Sure, he made a smaller splash with his first record, which a lot of us missed, but his sophomore effort is a smash.
Come Back To The Five And Dime Bobby Dee Bobby Dee sounds like an R&B album from the 60s recorded by AOR musicians from the 70s and driven to the record plant in a brand new Prius. The drums crackle with reverb and the piano player sounds like he just came from church. A string section fills out the low end while a guitar grinds through the mids and highs. Above it all is Ferree, singing his ass off about death, fear and a host of other existential concerns. You might say the sound is timeless, which is not just an expression in this case. It’s a compliment and it means that nobody will struggle to figure out why it still sounds good 50 years from now.
MP3: 'The Grips'