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Sid Selvidge

A Little Bit Of Rain – 2003 (Archer)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Sid Selvidge

Known more as a practitioner of the blues, Memphis-style, veteran singer Sid Selvidge adds a little bit of Nashville to this latest release, with a little bit of Jimmie Rodgers thrown in for good measure. The Nashville part comes in the form of a laid-back, stripped-down rendition of the venerable "Long Black Veil" that relies only on Selvidge's guitar and comfortable, "old shoe" voice to carry it through, and very nicely at that. Of a song that's been done by everyone from Lefty Frizzell to Mick Jagger, this is among the more satisfying versions.

The salute to the Singing Brakeman is Selvidge's take on "Hobo Bill" (often also called "Hobo Bill's Last Ride") which, while not written by Rodgers,is certainly among the songs most often associated with his all-too-short career. Likewise, Selvidge treats it simply and with respect. In his more familiar blues mode, Selvidge is right at home on "Mama You Don't Mean Me No Good" and "Every Natural Thing," and he also covers John Hiatt's "The River" with a lot of feeling. (88 Union Ave., Memphis, TN 38103, 901-521-0700)