Photos by Steven Sandick
Every now and then an artist comes along who reminds you of another artist—familiar, but different. That’s how I felt the first time I heard Aubrie Sellers’ record “New City Blues,” and after some research, it all came together. Sellers is the child of Nashville royalty: her father is Jason Sellers, a Nashville songwriter, who has recorded several albums of his own, and her mom is Lee Ann Womack. Vocally similar, Sellers has a much harder edgy, alt-country, bluesy feel than mom ever did.
Aubrie Sellers and her band tore up NYC’s Irving Plaza. The show’s opener, “Light of Day” featured the heavy grunge sounds of Ethan Balling and Cy Winstanley guitars, while Aubrie wailed along with her white Fender Strat. Immediately, you realize that this was no Lee Ann Womack country concert and Aubrie is definitely her own artist.
Sellers refers to her music as “Garage Country,” which is most apparent with her near-rockabilly tune “Sit Here and Cry” which featured a heavy dose of cymbals and bass drum from Lee Holland. “Living is Killing Me” is a hard drivin’ rocker loaded with slide guitars and Sellers’ strong voice.
There was not a lot of banter between Sellers and the audience, though she did tell the audience that she does not like phonies. “I write song about phonies” such as “Liar Liar” and “Magazine.” “Liar Liar” defiantly calls out her boyfriend a Liar, liar, a womanizer, bargain bin, romanticizer, “spin your web just like a spider does.” “Magazine” gives us tongue-in-cheek lyrics of losing weight, finding love, better body because “If they put it on paper it must be true. Surely these people wouldn’t lie to you.” All the while, Sellers glides glamorously across the stage.
The only song of the night that was steeped in her country roots was the powerful “Losing Ground” which touches deeply on depression. Jason Goforth’s pedal steel also helps to tug those heartstrings. In true “garage country” fashion, Sellers and her band covered the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night” into a playful bluesy version of Little Walter’s “My Babe.” She introduced the final cover of the night by prefacing “This song was originally done by my favorite singer” (I thought it would be a cover of a Lee Ann Womack song), Sellers completed the sentence by saying “Emmylou Harris.” I laughed—of course. Emmylou is everyone’s favorite singer. The band then broke into “Luxury Liner” a gem written by Gram Parsons.
As a fan of the New City Blues record, the live performance takes it to a high-energy blend of country, rock and blues. Sellers is on tour till July. Catch her if you can.