Ken Selcer’s Don’t Forget About Me resonates with the freshness of a summer breeze, the sparkle of a cold spring well, and the deepening hues of tomorrow’s perfect sunset. Like the beauties of nature, its sounds will gently beckon the listener back again and again.
The singer, songwriter, and guitarist plays folk, rock, country, and blues to create his own unique amalgam of roots music on this 15 track album. Selcer’s third CD, Don’t Forget About Me spotlights 13 original compositions, two of which are reprised with differing arrangements.
Selcer kicks off the disc with the title “Don’t Forget About Me,” a country-rock number flowing with the musical spirit of Dylan or The Grateful Dead. Recalling the Nashville side of the folk-rock genre, “Goin’ Home Now” hums with the back-porch goodtime attitude of The Lovin’ Spoonful. Selcer sharpens the electric guitar riffs on such numbers as “With You” and “Even To A Shining Star,” while “Save Yourself” unveils vocal harmonies and Selcer’s speedy-fingered acoustic guitar licks that would make early Poco proud.
The album’s centerpieces are “Colors” and “I Would Be With You,” each delivered in two separate versions. A classic singer-songwriter ballad, “Colors” features Selcer’s expressive singing and splendid guitar picking. One recording weaves its beautiful acoustic textures; the other is animated by its bass/guitar/drums interplay. Selcer unexpectedly closes his CD with an accordion and voice “I Would Be With You” demo, emphasizing the song’s exceptional songwriting craft and touching melody. The album’s electric version conjures memories of George Harrison collaborating with Badfinger on some haunting Beatlesque notion. Along with his standout composing, arranging, and producing, Selcer’s brilliant guitar playing finds special inspiration in Harrison’s singular style on “I Would Be With You.”
Like the traditional folk troubadours, Selcer sings and plays “In An Instant,” “Fallen Down,” and “Massachusetts Morning,” whose introspective sentiments connect to its geographical title. Selcer complements his obvious musical gifts with reflective lyrics; he can also be whimsical, as in the wordplay to the rootsy “Outstanding”: “I’m outstanding in the rain.”
Tastefully accompanied by bassist Andy Solberg, drummer Mike Migliozzi, keyboardist Chris Billias, along with mandolinist Jimmy Ryan and harp player Hatrack Gallagher, Kenny Selcer has put together an album of memorable tunes and sensational picking. (www.kenselcer.com)
Special thanks to guest contributor Joseph Tortelli for this review