Mark Selby – Nine Pound Hammer


What may be Mark Selby’s best album earns the title in part because his guitar playing is more prominent than it was on his previous efforts.

This is essentially a trio record, with Selby delivering notes in all the right places and tone about as perfect as it gets. The title cut starts with a nasty slide lick before he delivers chunky rhythm guitar followed by bluesy solos with perfect touches. All the songs show a deftness and approach to the craft – the first four are especially strong; “Buck-Fifty & a Flat-Head Ford” is a country-blues played on electric and the translation works well. Selby accents the fine vocal with a nasty slide solo. “Cold One Closin’ In” is a soulful country tune that starts with lots of harmonics and a lyric that equates weather with a relationship. “A Good Friend to the Blues” has an amazing lyric and effective use of a simple guitar-and-vocal arrangement. “Leveler, Reveler” is a stomping rocker with great solo tones and a rhythm section that shines.

Selby has written songs with Kenny Wayne Shepperd and the Dixie Chicks. Here’s hoping that work gives him the time and means to keep working on solo efforts like this one.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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