How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Mark Selby is a contemporary blues phenomenon who rises far above the frequent practice of copying one's predecessors. He understands both the traditions of the blues and the myriad directions in which it can be pointed. Selby co-wrote most of the tunes here with his sister, Tia Sillers, and called in some very special guests to produce one of the best blues albums of 2000.
Selby is a fun, passionate vocalist who seems born to the mike, and his guitar playing sets the room ablaze. Track 1, co-written with young blues icon Kenny Wayne Shepherd, establishes the good-rockin' mood right away with some lip-smacking acoustic slide. Soon the electric guitar and funky piano bop on in to put the house party into full swing. Track 2 boogies rock-solid thanks to the soulful backup vocals of Crystal Taliefero and Bekka Bramlett (briefly a Fleetwood Mac member, and the daughter of Delaney & Bonnie). Selby shows a deep respect for the ancient bluesmen who inspire him on tracks like #5. Track 7 throws booting horns into the mix, and #9 has acidic backup from guest Kim Carnes and Reese Wynans' organ.
Selby is certainly an artist deserving wider recognition. While Shepherd and Jonny Lang paid their dues by emulating Stevie Ray Vaughan until they found their own voices, Selby seems to have been sure of his voice from day one.
Track Listing: Don't You Throw That Mojo On Me; She's Like Mercury; I'm The Lucky One; You're Gonna Miss My Love; Blind Since Birth; What Am I Doin'; Kink in the Chain; Down By The Tracks; Smoked; Satisfied; More Storms Comin'.
Personnel: Mark Selby, vocals, all guitars; Chuck Fields, drums, percussion; Reese Wynans, keyboards; Denny Dadmun-Bixby, bass; Bekka Bramlett and Crystal Taliefero, background vocals; Kim Carnes, guest vocal on #9; Jack Sundrud, bass on #6,7,8, manly vocalizing on #2; Dann Sherrill, percussion on #1,2,3,4; 'Hurricane' Tim Gonzalez, harmonica on #8; Bobby Ogdin, piano on #3; Glenn Worf, bass on #9; Tommy Harden, drums on #5; Denis Solee, sax on #7; George Tidwell, trumpet on #7.