Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz Strike Gold on “Careful Now My Son”
Never doubt the transporting power of music, as it may rear up at anytime, and in anyplace, in which one can readily conceive. Take the latest single from Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz, for example. “Careful Now My Son”, released on Baggage Room Records, has obvious pressing contemporary social denotations—particularly when one sees the track is billed as the leadoff single from an oeuvre known as Music in the Time of Coronavirus.
But the tune’s connotations, its surfeit of guitars, the power and clarity in the tone of the vocalist, is undeniably Western. Not John Wayne, mind you, but those films created at the tail end of this genre during the final decades of the 20th century, when there was an unmistakable sense of cool about riding on steeds, long hair whizzing, and the proverbial pistols blazing (some of which, obviously, is still applicable today).
If anything, you’ve got to blame those wondrous string instruments for providing this undeniable feeling. There’s at least two guitar tracks playing simultaneously, the first a sumptuous rhythm guitar that any rap producer would be tempted to sample. It’s unvarying in its groove, which illustrates how right that groove is. The other adlibs, weaving in and out, and kicking up dust on the breakdowns, letting you know O’Bitz means business on this instrument of choice. Seriously, you’ve got to hear this to believe it.
However, what modernizes this joint and makes it accessible within the 21st century is the drums. Spearheaded by an obese snare and solid kick, the cut moves along at a slow yet deliberate pace, emphasizing every syllable Anders annunciates. There’s also a rich series of percussion, likely a tambourine, keeping the pace. This little tidbit of modernity is why this record likely goes harder than anything you hear on the Young Guns films, and maybe even a little more so than Bon Jovi’s efforts in this vein, as well.
Those guitars make the song dangerous, like at any point in time anything could possibly happen, and just might. Fortunately or not, coincidentally or not, such sentiment is an apt descriptor for the current times that are well after anything related to the epoch of Westerns—perhaps illustrating society hasn’t quite come so far, after all.