Sid Selvidge has had a musical career as expansive as the Mississippi Delta -- and as true to his roots as the bluesmen of yesteryear.
In short, it's been the real thing.
Selvidge was born in Greenville, Mississippi, and got his first guitar at age 13. As a teenager he disc jockeyed at radio station WDDT in Greenville, and later at KWAM in Memphis. While in Memphis he performed at the famous Bitter Lemon Club, where he studied the styles of legendary bluesmen Furry Lewis and Mississippi Fred McDowell.
He honestly understands the songs he sings, which is why listeners love to hear them.
"Sid Selvidge, who comes from Mississippi by way of Memphis, is neither country nor rock," said John Rockwell of the New York Times. "He's pretty much everything musically in the whole Southeast."
Selvidge graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis with a degree in Anthropology and later taught there. His first album, Portrait, was recorded while he was still in school, on Enterprise Records, a subsidiary of Memphis-based Stax Records.
Selvidge then traveled to New York where he played his style of roots and folk music before fascinated audiences. He received rave reviews.
"His voice is an astonishing instrument," said Robert Palmer of the New York Times. "Cool and liquid with a range of several octaves."
Back in Memphis, Selvidge recorded The Cool of the Morning in 1976 on his then new label, Peabody Records, as well as Alex Chilton's "Like Flies on Sherbet." He had already caught the attention of the major recording labels while in New York, which resulted in another album, Twice Told Tales, on Elektra Records, Nonesuch American Explorer Series.
In between his solo recordings, Selvidge has performed with the band, Mudboy and the Neutrons, featuring Jim Dickinson. Bob Dylan once called them "the great band that nobody can find." This group has released three albums over the years.
"With a voice as smooth as Kentucky corn liquor and a guitar tone as smoky as Tennessee barbecue, Selvidge keeps the Memphis music tradition alive," said Guitar Player magazine.
Six years ago, Selvidge helped found Beale Street Caravan, an internationally syndicated blues radio program, heard on over 500 stations in the United States and overseas. He currently serves as executive producer of the show.
Selvidge has been a guest artist at Carnegie Hall and has performed on the National Public Radio program, Mountain Stage. He has even written a children's blues opera, commissioned by Opera Memphis.
Selvidge's latest CD is entitled, A Little Bit of Rain, on Archer Records, and is produced by Jim Dickinson. For more information please see the News tab on the Archer Records website.