Where You Born At? – Eric Selby (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Anyone whose music gets shortlisted for awards and accolades in folk, pop, rock and blues categories obviously knows something about how to mix and match genres. And Where You Born At? is the perfect example of Eric Selby‘s ability to do just that. Many musicians approach such broad-minded and eclectic territory by filling an album with a wide range of songs that cover those bases but which seem to be a collection of multi-genre sounds sitting uncomfortably together.

The real charm of Eric Selby in general and Where You Born At? in particular is that even when transitioning from lulling pastoral folk pastures to rock crescendoes, from soothing blues to energized and accessible folk-pop, he does so seamlessly. And more than merely a collection of songs, the album is a soundscape where the sounds and styles, genres and eras blend perfectly, often within the same song.

When you understand how and why all genres work you can get beyond their self-imposed limitations, take what you need from each, find influences everywhere you look, understand that it is all part of the same sonic family tree and just call it…well, music. And so, the building blocks might be familiar but the results are certainly fresh and unique.

There are searing rock anthems wrapped in organ washes and acoustic grace, such as Arise, chilled bluesy-pop such as Anxious Zen, the shuffling honky-tonk grooves and old-time infusions of Orbit and gorgeously understated James Taylor-esque ballads such as I’m Good With That.

Eric Selby understands that it is less about creating new genres, that rarely leads to anything long-lasting, but rather about using existing genres to create intoxicating blends of music. And if you want to hear what the sound of the classic styles reworked and rewoven into new, fresh and totally of the moment songs sounds like, you only need to give this album a spin.

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