Lonesome Onry and Mean: Meet Mark Selby and Selby Mills Lemaire

LOM still can't get over the death of Tim Krekel. Nor can we get over that he was, for the most part, so underrecognized and underappreciated by the world at large. Several late-night dinner parties have passed at our house in the weeks since his passing, and we always seem to end up listening to Tim's Soul Season at some point. The messages in his music always hit home. He could sell it 'cause he meant it.

Krekel's passing also rekindles the urge we think most music writers have, to bring a measure of attention to artists they consider to be worthy of broader notoriety yet who remain, in spite of extended careers and considerable accomplishments, way under the public radar. The last thing LOM wants is to read their obituaries and say to ourselves, "Damn, I should've written about them. It might've meant something."

LOM is going to try harder to get this done in this column in the future.

Let's start with Mark Selby. The Oklahoma native is so good he probably has to have an appointment with a shrink when he wakes up every morning and remembers he's in Nashville.

LOM first heard of Selby when his 2003 release, Dirt, arrived in the mail one day. We wore out two copies of that thing. It was one of those records you couldn't put on without someone asking, "Who is that?" On it, Selby plays like Jon Campbell, sings like Chuck Prophet and writes songs J.J. Cale or Hank Williams would be glad to claim. Listen to "Willin' To Burn" or "Back Door To My Heart" and tell me it isn't so.

Selby's bluesy 2008 album, Nine Pound Hammer, went largely unnoticed. That makes zero sense to me and only confirms how fragmented and disjointed the business of making records has become.

Nobody has updated Selby's MySpace site since February, but LOM tracked him to a new group, Selby Mills Lemaire. These three Nashville vets - Selby, Sonny Lemaire and Clay Mills - have written over 20 No. 1 hits for folks like the Dixie Chicks, and recently released an album. Selby describes the collaboration as "as a mix between a funky group like the Subdudes and Crosby Stills Nash & Young," which works for us.

Anyway, before you see Selby's name in another obit...

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