SID SELVIDGE – The Cold of the Morning

Album: The Cold of the Morning

Artist: Sid Selvidge

Label: Omnivore

Release Date: March 11, 2014

Sid Selvidge 2-25

www.omnivorerecordings.com

 BY MICHAEL TOLAND

 Singer/guitarist Sid Selvidge gets his reputation from his connection to Memphis über-producer Jim Dickinson and his membership in the latter’s freewheeling bar band Mud Boy and the Neutrons. But that’s not what made him special. As this reissue of his 1976 second solo album (third if you count an unreleased LP cut during a disastrous liaison with Elektra in the early ‘70s) proves, Selvidge possessed more than enough talent to earn his own notoriety.

 A student of blues singer Furry Lewis, Selvidge uses his skilled fingerpicking technique and versatile voice to essay a program of folk, country blues, jazz and even show tunes, treating every tune as if it comes from the same source. Thus his takes on the old Broadway number “Then I’d Be Satisfied With Life” and the Jazz Age ditty “I Get the Blues When It Rains” sit comfortably alongside Jimmie Rodgers’ “Miss the Mississippi and You” and his mentor’s “Judge Boushé,” not to mention his own “Frank’s Tune,” “Wished I Had a Dime” and “The Outlaw,” a yodeling tribute to Rodgers. (He recorded nearly 20 tracks for what ended up being a 12-track LP; several of the outtakes appear here as bonuses.)

 Though Selvidge is occasionally backed by the Neutrons, he plays most tunes solo, recreating the ambience and intimacy of his club shows to excellent effect. Far more artistically aligned with folk singers like Townes Van Zandt, Fred Neil and Pete Seeger than any of the better-known Memphians, Selvidge creates a mini-masterpiece that, had it received decent distribution and come out when the folk revival was at its peak, would’ve earned him a much larger cult following that he has now. As it stands, this edition—which is also available on clear vinyl—gives fans of soulful fingerpicking and singing another chance to discover Sid Selvidge. 

 DOWNLOAD: “Wished I Had a Dime,” “Keep It Clean,” “Miss the Mississippi and You”

 

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