Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
This session, by St. Louis' Bo and the Locomotive begins with a statement that seems to mean much more when it's coming from them. In their hands, the thought that time's got us in a bind, is something like testimony that we're all able to nod at solemnly. With an immediate pull, we're awash in sentiment that digs deep, that brings so many things to the forefront and we feel like we're sputtering. It's as if we aren't aware that time's got us by the neck until someone else points it out just so, with the choicest of words, with the simplest turn. So many of the people that I know continue to struggle with getting themselves that ideal situation, with getting themselves to that very precise place that they've always wanted to be in with their lives.
They don't like the idea of dealing with the sloppiness that's dealt and they hate the thought that they need to take something, warts and all. They aren't getting any younger and they're still waiting for those signs that will tell them what they need to know. Meanwhile, still feeling young enough, it dawns on them that they're getting close to 40 and that's a number that is a bit constricting for anyone. You start hyperventilating when you're staring at that number. You get a sweaty brow and upper lip and your heart races. You're feeling like you're decaying. It's all so obvious now. You're on the outs, before you were even able to get anything going.
Bo and the Locomotive have some insightful responses to such a flash of mortality. Lead singer Bo Bulawsky sings, "You always wanted more/And you never shut that door/It's never been enough/To just wait around for love/If you only want one thing you had better get that thing." Bulawky, Andrew Arato, Steven Colbert and Evan O'Neal write songs that ponder the loss that's evident daily, even if it doesn't feel like loss of any kind at the time. It will catch up to you. These are songs that literally shake with concern about the dwindling of light and about the uncertainty of what's to come. As Bulawsky sings, "Sometimes I'm not so sure about anyone anymore/But I guess it's hard to tell who's going to hell."