Come Back To The Five And Dime Bobby Dee Bobby Dee
Benjy Ferree plays moody, introspective roots rock that takes its lead from country waltzes and a bit of swampy Zydeco, but sounds like it was mixed in a British music hall. If you knew nothing else and heard this on the radio, you might think it’s an obscure B-side from the 1970s Kinks or T-Rex. The track layout is a bit old school; Ferree calls out a Side A and a Side B. The songs are slower on “A” side, and more punk derivative on “B” side, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. The bouncy “Big Business” makes the recent meltdown into a danceable party while later on “The Grips” is a more morose waltz that explores dealing with one’s partner or lover or significant other. We have so many euphemisms for that notionally monogamous relation… The end of side “B” leaves aside the guitars for a few moments while a young girl reads a simple poem listed as “Iris Flowers.” It’s a nice touch, but it breaks the flow of the program, and it’s good to get back into a medium tempo rocker like “I Get No Love,” another lament about love gone bad. Mr. Ferree occasionally strays from traditional topics, but always applies a pleasantly retro sound to the picking and mixing. Ignore his clean cut picture on the cover; he’s got a spark of the devil in him, just like they promised us from the pulpit 50 years ago.