Aubrie Sellers is a half-Texan living in Nashville with a country music pedigree and strong inclinations to dig deep into the blues or rock out with the Kinks. The “Liar, Liar” singer makes it all work within a sub-genre she calls “garage country.” It’s a mix of all her wants and rebellions.
Growing up she did rebel. “I would say I loved everything except country,” Sellers recalls. “I think because it wasn’t — I did love country music. I loved the hardcore country music that my mom loved, but I think that it wasn’t cool to like country at that time.”
Other forms of music also provided a needed escape for the daughter of Lee Ann Womack and songwriter Jason Sellers. She went to acting school and still pursues roles. Since the age of 13 she’s been writing songs and playing guitar, funneling all her dreams and fears into a music that was influenced by Ralph Stanley and George Jones but also Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson and Steve Earle.
“I was introverted. I mean I didn’t sing in front of probably a single soul until I was 16," Sellers says. "I spent a lot of time reading. I spent a lot of time writing. And traveling too. I was on the road a lot with my mom and so I was around music all the time, from very, very little… When you’re a teenager, you have a lot of time to dig into that stuff. And I think that’s when a lot of it started affecting me.”
Sellers' family and friends have a healthy respect for her music, even if they don’t always get it. Everyone was shocked when she independently released New City Blues in 2016. The raw lyrics and powerful yet vulnerable production that surround her vocals are immediately striking. An inborn cynicism toward the music industry pushed her to go the indy route. She wanted to maintain 100 percent creative freedom, and was happy she didn’t have to compromise to sign with Warner Music Nashville later.
This winter, Sellers is opening Miranda Lambert’s Highway Vagabond Tour. It’s her dream tour, and Lambert has been as kind and candid as she’d hoped. The size of the stages she’s playing were imaginable only in her worst nightmares a few years ago. Terrible stage fright wreaked havoc on her early career.
“I would literally cry up until the point of walking out on stage,” the 26-year-old says with a nervous laugh. “I was out on tour with Marty Stuart, I was all the way on the west coast still touring in a car, playing acoustic. You don't have a band, so all of the attention is on you and I had no experience doing this. You're away from home, it's all overwhelming to someone who is doing all of this for the first time at the same time. So, it was really bad and there were definitely times where I thought I'm not going to be able to do this for a career. I'm just not made for this as far as being so introverted. But I found out that the more you do it, the easier it gets and now I'm getting to the point where I actually enjoy being out there and playing music for people.”
She'll get plenty of chances in 2017. Look for Sellers to join the Cadillac Three for their Black Roses Tour this spring. She's also writing for her next album. — Billy Dukes
Aubrie Sellers On Set at the 2017 RISERS Shoot