Gary Sellers – Soul Apparatus
2010, Gary Sellers
Long Island singer/songwriter Gary Sellers immersed himself in the guitar at the age of 17, and soon was following legends of the local blues scene incessantly with a notebook in hand. Sellers was jotting down song ideas in a notebook and learning everything he could from watching the best. It wasn’t long before local icon Sam Taylor had taken sellers under his wing. As a member of the Sam Taylor Band, Sellers played lead guitar and contributed backing vocals. The “boy with the book” has stepped out on his own, and in 2010 released his sophomore album, Soul Apparatus.
Soul Apparatus opens with “Chewin’ Ice”, an innuendo-laden number that blends does of rock, soul and funk. It’s a tongue-in-cheek bit of advice on how to spot which woman to take home from a bar. It’s an entertaining number that displays impressive guitar and synth work. “Living For The City” is written in a classic soul/rock style, but sounds a bit rote. Sellers’ guitar work makes up for what is essentially a mundane bit of songwriting. “Done Sold Everything” is a solid dose of rhythm & blues. The transition here is slow, but the guitar work is stellar, and Sellers has a voice that embodies a gritty weariness that is perfect for the blues.
“Sideshow Blues” explores the trials and tribulations of being a working musician while the less talented trust fund babies take up all the big spots in entertainment. It’s a great tune in a solid arrangement, and will hit home with any working musician who doesn’t have a mom or dad on a major label contract to push them along. “Don’t Hurt No More” is a classic R&B style number ala Sam Cooke. While Sellers has a distinctive voice that’s a pleasure to listen to, he’s not Cooke, and is a bit exposed here. Nonetheless, it’s a solid effort and among the highlights on Soul Apparatus. “Slow And Steady” cautions listeners not to lose their heads in love. The song is well-written, with a nice flow, and Seller’s guitar excursions are, as always, worth tuning in for.
“Beer Drinking Woman” is a blues/rock number about the social and financial hazards of dating a woman who prefers beer. It’s a fun number; a bit light on content but entertaining for what it is. The arrangement is tight and the musicianship is solid. “Let’s Straighten It Out” is out of character and doesn’t fit well here, but transitions quickly into “That Did It, Baby”. The latter if a five-and-a-half minute jam that features some of the smoothest guitar work on the album. It’s as if Carlos Santana himself immersed himself in the blues. Soul Apparatus takes a bow with “Dark End Of The Street”, a solid tune with a nice, easy-going feel. It’s a solid nightcap on a solid album.
Soul Apparatus finds Gary Sellers making deft use of his guitar skills while showing off a solid voice that perhaps isn’t best suited to the blues. The album itself is a strong effort that doesn’t always quite live up to its own good intentions, but almost always delivers a solid performance. While sellers shows the grit and sense of solitude in his vocals that bespeak of the blues, he just doesn’t have the charisma or power of a legend. Even when he tries to tackle soul man Sam Cooke’s style, Sellers gets points for effort but falls shy on execution. At the end of the day it’s a solid effort worth tuning in for, but Seller’s personality and passion haven’t quite come together yet. He’s good enough that if he every makes that connection the results should be stellar.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)Learn more about Gary Sellers at http://www.garysellers.com/ or www.myspace.com/garysellers. Soul Apparatus is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The album is also available digitally via iTunes.