Californian blues man Seasick Steve has become notorious for his rebel outlaw spirit and signature dungarees with a bottle of Jack Daniels in the back pocket. The last twelve months really have been his year, with the unlikely star being nominated for 'Best Live Act' at 2008's Mojo awards and winning 'Best Breakthrough Act' in 2007. Now back with his follow up to last year’s Dog House Blues, the man formerly known as Steve Wold invites us to nestle down on the porch, kick back and listen to his worldly tales once more.
Banging out the blues on his customised guitars is what Steve does best and you'd be hard pushed to find another bona fide ex-train rider who does it better. Steve has managed to translate his fiery live shows from the stage to the studio with his languid, treacly voice introducing most songs and even delving into a monologue on the bare explanation of why he can never stay still: My Youth. And on the title track Steve’s intro to a track about nothing never sounded so good.
Having made his TV debut on Later With Jools, Steve has called on Hollands' favourite soul singing diva, Ruby Turner, to join him on the gospel infused Happy Man, while KT Tunstall backs up the legend on rhythm guitar. Pleading for a woman's touch he sings, ''Oh this life has knocked me down to my knees, and I think it's time I get a little bit of that promised land…I ain't asking for much, just your sweet touch and for a little, little while I'll be happy and such''. Steve is also keen to prove he's no chancer with the ladies on, Fly By Night and the collaborations keep coming with Nick Cave getting writing credits on the low key and perfect, Just Like A King, featuring Grinderman.
Whether singing homegrown tales of women, riding trains (On Prospect Lane), faithful dogs (One True), drinking wine (Thunderbird), or a 'how to' guide for getting rid of bugs on a guitar he says he should have thrown out (Chiggers), Steve's sincerity to the blues tradition he was taught by K.C. Douglas makes this a compelling down and dirty listen whose momentum takes you straight back on the trains with him – even though he probably has a bit more than nothing by now.
Nice enough vinyl gatefold with simple white inner sleeve. Well pressed reasonably heavyweight vinyl. Sound is real bassy and closely miked. And very clear. I quite like it 🙂