Nashville songwriter Mark Selby has penned some huge hits for other artists, most notably The Dixie Chicks ("There’s Your Trouble") and Kenny Wayne Shepherd ("Blue on Black"). Given his credentials, I feared Selby’s recording debut might be a slick country offering or an overblown rock release. Instead, the singer/guitarist has turned out a surprisingly well-crafted album that's a guitar-centric blend of blues, roots rock, and pop.
Not that there’s anything terribly original about More Storms Comin’. The songs are remindful of The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, and a few other classic rockers who dabble in the blues. But Selby knows how to fashion hooks that stick in your head. What‘s more, his faster numbers kick some butt, his slower tunes are soulfully expressive, and his lyrics show some intelligence.
The song "Gonna Miss My Love" has the makings of a big radio hit. That pulsing beat, snappy bass line, and cool sing-along melody are hard to resist. The opener "Don’t Throw That Mojo on Me" rocks hard with acoustic guitar and New Orleans-style piano. "She’s Like Mercury" is centered around some catchy Keith Richards-style riffing. The tough-minded but wistful song "I’m The Lucky One" sounds like something from Bob Seger’s Night Moves album. "Blind Since Birth" (about an elderly bluesman) and "More Storms Comin’" (a spare acoustic cut) possess a Delta-blues ambience and the album’s two best lyrics.
If Mark Selby's sophomore effort is as good as More Storms Comin', we could see his name atop marquees on the arena circuit.