Seasick Steve: Dog House Music

By: Dennis Cook

It'd be easy to mistake Seasick Steve for some lost 78rpm find listening to "Things Go Up," the first song proper after an equally rugged, electric blues clatter and minor ramble that opens Dog House Music (released August 4 on Bronzerat), Steve's U.K. beloved debut finally seeing the light of day in the States. For every ignorant bumhole that suggests "they don't make 'em like they used to," you can shove Seasick in their gob and shout, "Hell yes, they DO!!!"

Everything about the man, from his jury-rigged gear to his barely understandable spoken intros to the history and raw, human soul that reverberates in every note, announces Steve is the real deal. While Europe and England in particular have been onto him for years, the foreign living, Oakland, CA born American is still relatively unknown in his native land, but anyone with even a passing interest in the blues, roots or just plain earthy, resoundingly true music is missing out if they miss Steve, who can turn falling off a rock into a Hound Dog Taylor-like kick-up. His knack for simple ideas transformed into memorable gold is uncanny here, and nothing feels like a recreation or facsimile. One can imagine Steve palling around with Lightnin' Hopkins and Leadbelly, trading songs and scraping together money on street corner's for a new set of strings. This baker's dozen offers a hip shakin' invitation into his world – a hopping rambler's wander through dust poor and high times both.

JamBase | Rolling Tides
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[Published on: 8/24/09]

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