Seasick Steve: Man From Another Time

Remember a while back when I reviewed a CD by Patrick and Eugene?  The good folks at Musebox sent it over and I love it.   Well, I have to tell you – it’s getting a little eerie how they can pinpoint my musical taste…either I’m totally transparent or Jon over there is psychic, because once again they’ve hit upon a winner.

He’s Seasick Steve, an authentic American hobo in his mid sixties who just happens to make great music…mostly by himself, and often on instruments of his own devising.  Part Delta Blues, part “indie rock with a little bit of Swamp” – Steve is gritty and real.
A press release I read describes his sound perfectly:

“Existing somewhere between The Black Keys, JJ Grey, and The North Mississippi All Stars, Seasick Steve’s music is roots, innovation, and rock ‘n roll at its very best.”

His American debut CD Man From Another Time dropped TODAY.

I’ve been listening to it all week.  I love it.  You need it.

But, you don’t need to just take MY word for it.  Take it from the British.  Steve became a sensation over there after his 2006 appearance on Jools Holland’s “Annual Hootenanny” BBC TV Show, and in the years since has graced the main stages of festivals like All Points West (U.S.), UK Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury (UK), Coachella, and Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), and played to sold-out audiences at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

His CD “I Started Out With Nothing And I Still Got Most of it Left” went Platinum.  He became the oldest Brit Award Nominee in history, and took home the Mojo Award for Best Breakthrough Act.  All this from a guy with a three string guitar, a scruffy gray beard, a trucker hat and a knowing twinkle in his eye.

So, you may be wondering the same thing that crossed my mind when I started reading about Steve, namely…if he’s an American, what is he doing in Europe?  Why did THEY “discover” him before we did?  Well, it helped that he’s living in Oslo, Norway now, but I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual.

Born in Oakland, CA, Steve ran away from home at 13 and has been “on the road” ever since – back and forth across the country and a few times across the Pond.  He took up the guitar in his mid teens and while he’s played music throughout his life, he hadn’t made it his career until recently.

Enter Steve’s Norwegian wife.  It’s thanks to her that we’re hearing him at all – she urged him to take up playing again after he had a heart attack.  Calling on his roots, his experiences, his travels and his own ingenuity, Steve started picking up tools and things around the house and finding ways to make music with them.  Raw music –  with growls, stomps and good old rockin’. And the rest, as they say…well, you know what they say.

On Man From Another Timethe whole CD Steve plays every instrument but the drums himself.  At his insistence this entire album was recorded in analog format, because as he says “computers and me don’t get along so good.”  The result is a sort of aural clarity; the stripped down arrangements (if you can call them that) allow you to feel the rhythm in a way that you didn’t even know you’d been missing. With every wild whoop and tender exhale, Steve passes on his experiences through this raw, earthy music.

Fittingly, the lead track is “Diddley Bo” – an eponymous homage to the one stringed instrument he plays – and solos with – throughout the song, and a  perfect example of how less can definitely be more:

“Wenatchee” is a rolling good time that recalls a job picking in an apple orchard, and “Never Go West” is an ode to the Spokane slammer. (Check out that video below.  Yes, that’s a homemade cigar box guitar he’s rockin’.)

This music and its artist tell stories and evoke feeling that draws you in and makes you feel just uncomfortable enough to be familiar.  At times I hear a little ZZ Top, other times I recognize some Robert Johnson…it’s all Seasick Steve.

My personal fave track, “Happy (to Have a Job)” is as much a fitting commentary today as it could have been during the Depression.  Yep – Steve’s  lyrics are timeless because they speak to the human condition…assuming that condition drives a John Deere tractor, as he did in “Big Green and Yeller”.

Authentic?  You damn skippy.

So, head over to Amazon, iTunes MySpace or his Website and get you some Seasick Steve…right after you comment here to win some.

Jon @musebox (hint:  follow them on Twitter) has generously offered up FOUR times the Steve –  two copies of Man From Another Time on CD and two copies of it on Vinyl. (I KNOW, right??  Vinyl!)

Here’s what you do:

  • Just comment here and tell me what you thought.  Easy peasy. One entry.
  • If you want you could tweet about Steve’s CD and this post.  Y’know, maybe something like this:     Seasick Steve: Man From Another Time. Review and giveaway of some rockin’ Delta Blues @MusicSavvyMom http://ow.ly/1tnI3 (Then come back and give me the link to your Tweet.)  Bam – that makes two entries.
  • Wanna get really crazy?  Post this as your Facebook Status:  –   Check out Seasick Steve: Man From Another Time. Review and giveaway of some rockin’ Delta Blues @MusicSavvyMom http://ow.ly/1tnI3 –  And of course, come back and give me that link, too. Booyah!  That’s three!

Then, since you will have already bought your copy of Man From Another Time, if you win you can give the extra to one of your buddies and get massive props for having such awesome taste in music.  Win/Win!

Thanks to Jon at Musebox for my comped copy, and for the great artist info.  It had no bearing on my review, but it was nice to be included!  Giveaway winners will be chosen via Random.org – contest is closed for entries @ 9:00 pm EST on Friday, April 2, 2010.   Prizes provided through Musebox.  Check ’em out on Facebook. 😉
13 Responses to Seasick Steve: Man From Another Time
  1. Tiff Hill-Patterson
    March 30, 2010 | 10:20 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom Ready for some rockin' Delta blues? I'm giving them away! CD Review/Giveaway of Seasick Steve on MSM! http://ow.ly/1sUo3

  2. Melisa with one s
    March 30, 2010 | 11:33 pm

    I like Seasick Steve! This is usually not my genre (as you know), but he’s pretty enjoyable. Also, my 17yo and my husband are sitting here and they think he’s pretty good too, FYI!
    .-= Melisa with one s´s last blog ..Here’s The Secret To Having A Super Passover Seder =-.

    • Ri, the MSM
      March 30, 2010 | 11:37 pm

      Ha! Very true – he’s like the polar opposite of Lady GaGa. 😉 (But, I bet she’d like him, too!)

      Give your hubs and son rawk hands for me. Right on.
      .-= Ri, the MSM´s last blog ..Seasick Steve: Man From Another Time =-.

  3. ThisBelleRocks
    March 31, 2010 | 1:30 am

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: Ready 4 some rockin' Delta blues? I've got 'em & giving 'em away! See post on Seasick Steve on MSM! http://ow.ly/1sUo3

  4. John Hammond
    March 31, 2010 | 2:06 am

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: Ready for some rockin' Delta blues? Review/Giveaway of Seasick Steve on MSM! http://ow.ly/1sUo3

  5. Melisa
    March 31, 2010 | 2:25 am

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: Ready for some rockin' Delta blues? I've got 'em. And I'm giving them away! CD Review/Giveaway of Seasick Steve on MSM! http://ow.ly/1sUo3

  6. DiPM
    March 31, 2010 | 8:36 am

    Lordy woman I LOVE THIS! My Da, being the musical fire chief he is {recorded with Dan Fogelburg, played with Chuck Berry in a dive bar on the south side of Chicago}, instilled in me a love for so many types of music, blues being among my favs. This has a raw blues meets rock and soul feel and I’m digging it. In fact I think I’ll pick up a copy for my Da!
    .-= DiPM´s last blog ..Bullying Cyber? =-.

  7. This Belle Rocks
    March 31, 2010 | 11:16 am

    Love, love, LOVE bluesy rock! I’d never heard of this artist before, but I definitely want to hear more. I can’t believe he can get that kind of sound from a one-stringed instrument!
    .-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..It’s a good day to just go back to bed! =-.

  8. Lara DiPaola
    March 31, 2010 | 12:32 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: His new CD dropped today – giving away four copies on my blog. Love this dude! http://ow.ly/1sVBu (Seasick St… ♫ …

  9. Mike G.
    April 1, 2010 | 4:37 pm

    I am enjoying Seasick Steve. When is he coming back across the pond?

  10. Lisa
    April 4, 2010 | 1:31 pm

    I’m late to the party but diggin’ on Steve, as is my daughter who held an impromtu dance party while I made french toast this morning. :)
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Adjusting Expectations =-.

  11. Music Festivals
    April 29, 2010 | 9:10 am

    Well, I’m British and I only got acquainted with Steve last year. But he is absolutely brilliant, he has so much real talent. He represents the complete opposite of what’s gone wrong with the music industry.

  12. Group Leisure
    June 22, 2011 | 8:35 am

    Have a look at the brand new edition of the annual School Travel Organiser's Guide, now online http://ow.ly/5nwkC

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