Bluesy, Old School
"At only 24 years old, Connor Selby proves with this first album that he already plays the blues like an old hand. Now he has to show his true personality."
NEWF (10.03.2023)  
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It's a ritual as old as blues music itself. Regularly, young talents are presented to us as the new prodigies who will give the style the rejuvenation that everyone is waiting for. More often than not, they are forgotten in less time than it takes the press to find a new nugget. And the ones who make it are always the ones who, with a lot of hard work and dedication, manage to find their own style. But you have to start somewhere, and all of them, without exception, have done so by paying tribute to their elders. The new prodigy (or at least presented as such) of British blues is Connor Selby, and his first album, re-released for the Mascot label catalogue, is no exception to this rule.

From the opening track, 'I Can't Let You Go', Connor Selby leaves no doubt about his main influences: Eric Clapton for his guitar playing and Ray Charles for the soulfulness of his music. If these references may seem surprising for a young man of barely 24, they at least have the merit of being original enough to arouse interest, even if they do not at any time reflect the personality of the young artist. The song 'Emily', for example, sounds suspiciously like Clapton's 'The Core' from his 'Slowhand' album from... 45 years ago.

Yet Connor Selby often manages to surprise us with the eclecticism of his inspiration. This is the case with tracks like 'Waitin On The Day', with its country influences, or 'Anyhow' with its gospel influences. But it's undoubtedly the guitarist's fondness for Stax school rhythm and blues ('Falling In Love Again', 'Show Me A Sign') that makes the difference and which, thanks to his surprisingly mature voice and the judicious use of brass, allows Connor Selby to position himself as a musician clearly on the fringe of his generation.

Despite its qualities, this first album by Connor Selby has all the makings of an old man's album made by a young man. After the surprise effect, it must be said that he doesn't bring much to the blues scene. However, with his fine and precise guitar playing and his deep voice that seems to have already lived ten lives, the young man undeniably has the potential of a future great artist. It's up to him to find his own way out of his overbearing influences to let his true personality blossom.
- Official website

01. I Can't Let You Go
02. Falling In Love Again
03. If You're Gonna Leave Me
04. Emily
05. The Man I Ought To Be
06. Hear My Prayer
07. Show Me A Sign
08. Anyhow
09. Waitin' On The Day
10. Starting Again
11. I Shouldn't Care (Bonus Track)
12. Love Letter To The Blues (Bonus Track)
13. My Baby Don't Dig Me (Bonus Track)
14. The Deep End (Bonus Track)

Connor Selby: Chant / Guitares
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