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HITS LIST IS
IN THE MAIL
A not-so-subtle reminder to fill out that ballot. (10/15a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
The lives behind live music. (10/14a)
HARVEY MASON JR.:
THE HITS INTERVIEW
The Grammy chief takes our call. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020: COMING SOON
It will rain again this fall--we guarantee it. (10/13a)
STEVIE WONDER PARTNERS WITH REPUBLIC
First music in 15 years. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
Music City
WMN HAILS INKING OF TOP SELLERS
7/28/16

BY HOLLY GLEASON

As Gang of Four floated across Warner Bros. Nashville’s patio, the coming-out party for Aubrie Sellers—the much pursued DIY purveyor of “garage country”—hit the perfect note. Dressed in all black, the lithe woman, whose serious downstroke on a battered, Olympic Pearl American Elite Stratocaster drives an all-business band that recalls Emmylou HarrisSpyboy, proved a pristine soprano does not preclude rocking a country that evokes Waylon Jennings’ at his most plugged in.

Letting the playing rise and prickle without losing the melody (and capable of conjuring mood and aggression), there was not an acoustic guitar in sight. The bimbo-skewering vitriol of “Paper Doll” and the slinky seduction for rejection that fired “Liar, Liar” makes Sellers a post-empowerment woman: smart, strong, funny and (like a punk Loretta Lynn) not taking any mess.

With Jeni’s Ice Cream and cold beer, the belly-to-back mix of old guard publishers, hipsters, young managers and songwriters meant WB’s Chris Lacy, Kevin Herring, Wes Vause, Justin Luffman, Jordan Pettit, manager Mary Hilliard Harrington and producer Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, David Nail) had much to cheer. The packed crowd, which included Premiere Radio NetworksJustin Cole, iHeartMedia’s Rod Phillips and Michael Bryan, SiriusXM’s Kimsey Kerr, Lee Ann Womack (Sellers’ Grammy-winning mother), …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead producer Mike McCarthy braved 95+-degree heat to see what the buzz was all about.

Sellers’ 35-minute set, drawing on the soon-to-be-re-released New City Blues, rumbled when necessary and simmered on the not-looking-back “Loveless Rolling Stone,” showing for all the raw power, musicianship remains a priority. With black hair tumbling to her elbows, the 24-year old, who evokes Lana Del Rey and Chrissie Hynde with all the tone of Womack, leans into big notes with ease; neither pole-vaulting or baby-seal-clubbing, it belies how powerful she is.

“Aubrie Sellers will have a place in musical history as one of the game-changers—a space reserved for the unafraid,” Lacy said. “Her commitment is to a vision to speak her truth with a record that on the outside is a musical masterpiece, but on the inside is all guts and bravery, which you can see all over that stage.”

L-R: WMN VP Brand Management Justin Luffman, WMN VP Legal & Business Affairs Megan Joyce, Manager Mary Hilliard Harrington (Red Light Management), Aubrie Sellers, Producer Frank Liddell, WMN VP Promotion Jordan Pettit, WMN VP A&R Cris Lacy, WMN SVP Promotion Kevin Herring