CD Review: Dirt by Mark Selby

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Mark Selby Dirt CD Cover

Artist: Mark Selby
Album: Dirt
Release Date: 2003
Label: Vanguard Records

After gaining notoriety for penning hits recorded by Kenny Wayne Shepherd (“Blue on Black”) and the Dixie Chicks, singer/songwriter/ guitarist Mark Selby earned his moment in the spotlight with the release of his own critically lauded, 2000 debut, More Storms Comin’. His exceptional sophomore CD, Dirt indicates that album was not just a fluke. Many of Selby’s songs (some co-written with his wife, Tia Sillers) give vibrant life to romantic ruminations he keeps in his head, (“Willing to Burn, ” “Desire”). Favorable comparisons to Gregg Allman permeate this disc, not only in regard to Selby’s lyrical blues-rock guitar playing, but also his visual songwriting and slightly rough-hewn but engaging vocals — especially appealing on the lead track, “Reason Enough.” Excellent flanged guitar adds a hypnotic undercurrent to the gorgeous title track, but never detracts from the song’s true grit. No need for bells or whistles here: the music does all the talking.

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