by Julian Spivey
Up-and-comer Aubrie Sellers put on a fantastic show for the visitors of the annual Toad Suck Daze festival in Conway, Ark. on Friday, May 6.
Sellers has seemingly coined her own subgenre of music called “garage-country,” which fuses country music with a garage rock band sound and is absolutely fantastic, and certainly makes her standout from the crowd.
Talent obviously runs in the family as Sellers is the daughter of award-winning country songstress Lee Ann Womack and singer-songwriter Jason Sellers, who’s most noteworthy contribution is a co-write of the award-winning Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” You can tell she’s Womack’s daughter by looking at her, but her sound is completely different with a heavier atmosphere.
Sellers’ debut album New City Blues was released in early 2016 and drew rave reviews from critics and allowed her to make television appearances on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
She opened her Toad Suck Daze set, which would be around an hour-long, with “Light of Day,” the opening track from her debut, which shows off this “garage-country” style perfectly. “Light of Day” is one of the best songs off her debut, but there really aren’t any misses on the 14-track album.
Sellers would perform most of New City Blues on Friday night, including the terrific “Sit Here & Cry,” her latest single “Liar Liar” and my personal favorite from the record “Loveless Rolling Stone.”
“Loveless Rolling Stone,” which NPR called “the existential testament of heartbreak,” was written by the fantastic Brent Cobb and is the sad story of someone who can’t settle down and find love through their own fault.
Sellers’ debut album mostly features songs which you could describe as downers, even though many of them are great rockers, but she does have one nice love song in her early career repertoire in “Something Special,” which she delighted the crowd with.
Sellers peppered her set on the Main Stage at Simon Park, where the Toad Suck Daze festival is held annually, with covers that really won the small, but entertained audience over. Two of my favorite performances of her show were her cover of The Kinks classic “All Day and All of the Night,” which you could tell was a key influence on her “garage-country” style, and the lowkey beautifulness of The Beach Boys’ “In My Room,” which appears as a bonus track on her album.
She also entertained the crowd with fantastic covers of Emmylou Harris’ “Luxury Liner” and Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want).”
Sellers has the makings of one of country and Americana’s next big stars, but her sound is likely not something you’re going to hear much, if at all, on country radio (which is a shame). If you ever get a chance to see her around your area you shouldn’t miss out.