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Ben Selleck - Soulful Country music?

I interviewed Ben Selleck this week. The advantage of doing interviews on zoom where you can communicate face to face is you can really get a feel for the character of a person. Ben seems quiet and pensive, almost shy, but totally engaged.

He is new to Country music after working the Tribute band circuit for many years and holding down a job as a Music Teacher. Don't be fooled by the Tribute band connection. Tribute bands often carry the same level of musicianship and craft that brought the bands they emulate to public recognition. And this is borne out in Bens amazing music.

His new track “Different Sides of the Same Coin” perfectly moulds his love of 60s/70s Soul with the twang of modern Country Music. It's clear that his influences hail from the likes of Al Green and Smokey Robinson and that comes across in droves in this track. The track opens with a keyboard riff followed immediately by a simple but blistering guitar chop that instantly reminds me of Smokey Robinson's piano opener to “You've Really Got a Hold on Me” - Right out of the Motown play book but perfectly re-imagined for the modern Country era.

Ben's Voice is crazy cool. Definitely the voice of someone with the “X Factor” When that term wasn't bastardised by a cheap TV programme. If I had to liken his vocal quality to someone you will already know it would be Chris Robinson of Black Crowes Fame. Soulful, blues tinged vocals, full of emotion and “I've lived through this” Authenticity. Have a listen the Black Crowes cover of “Hard to Handle” and you'll understand what I mean. It's “Hairs on the back of my neck standing up” time! There's a couple of points where Ben holds back the lyric just a nanosecond which really adds to the suspense and almost gives the song a syncopated feel in places.

Ben powers through the song taking us along the journey of two people discovering that opposites really do attract. It's a familiar anecdote in country music but told in a totally unique way, with incredible guitar playing mimicking the vocal lines and driving the story forward. Lyrically, it's a catchy, snappy, ear worm that will resonate with anyone in a close relationship.

This is Ben's first release, and after hearing a couple of tracks yet to be released, I can tell you this amazing song is no fluke. Ben is here and is going to really make a name for himself in whatever genre of music he decides to observe.

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