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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 30 July 2009
The negative reviewers here knock SS because he doesnt happen to be a. black b. dead or c. at least 80. However, being an ex hobo who rode the freighttrains probably lends him more blues authenticity than most not that he's ever said he's a bluesman as he calls his stuff 'doghouse' music. Other than saying such and such is not your bag there's no point having a pop at acts that dont make out they're anything other than entertainers. Anyway, I first saw SS at Glasto a few years back and frankly he was a refreshing change from all the indie poseurs on the Pyramid stage etc. This album's raw and rootsy lack of pretentiousness also makes a nice change from the glossy overproduction of most rock and pop that swamps the world. So, maybe he wont be hailed as another Robert Johnson whatever. Just take it all at face value, enjoy it and dont listen to all those purist snobs who drearily bore us on and on about authenticity, 'real' music blah blah
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on 3 October 2008
This is Seasick Steve's first release on a major label, Warner Brothers, to which he has moved from his previous home at Bronzerat. The album shows one or two signs of this change. Most obviously, the sound is a bit less raw than it was on Dog House Blues. Be reassured though: everything that makes Steve special is still here.

The album includes the usual blues stomps, played on a variety of (largely ratty) guitars. Steve attacks these vigorously, with his guitar playing sounding haphazard and note-perfect at the same time. There are also a couple of ballads, including the truly delightful "Walking man", with Steve's voice at its gentlest and mellowest. There are even a couple of pretty good covers, including the old Box Tops hit The Letter and the blues standard Rolling and Tumbling.

There are a few guest musicians on the album: Nick Cave's Grinderman on one track, and a couple of girl singers on another. I don't think Steve needs the help, and I'd be worried if he continued down that track. Still, this is a feelgood album by a real musician. Buy it, and if you possibly can, go see him in concert!
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on 25 October 2008
Seasick Steve is a fantastic bluesman, I'm a huge fan, and I listen to Doghouse Music constantly, but I'm really sorry to say that this album just doesn't quite do it for me.

Doghouse Music is a superb album - simple, straightforward, totally un-produced and packed with real feeling and passion. Thats what Seasick Steve means to me - his views and experiences of a different world, (one I hope I'll never know) are powerful and honest, and he can really play that guitar too.

It was obvious that this album would be more commercial, more produced, because Steve is now a massive worldwide phenomenon (rightly so) and so there is alot more at stake. There are some great tracks on this record, and Steve does his best to shine through, but the band are wrong for him, the arrangements are wrong for him, and the mix is wrong for him too! If you listen really carefully, you can hear the fantastic rolling rhythms of doghouse music in the guitar riffs, but almost every song is drenched in bass and drums, and it is they who set the rhythm, NOT Steve! At times you have to strain to hear his guitar at all, due to the terrible mix, and even the vocals are too quiet on several numbers.

For me the problem is that this is just a blues record with Seasick Steve in the band. If you took him away, all you would have is a bunch of session players jamming the blues, and since he's drowning in the mix half the time, thats all you have got on some of the tracks. No band can ever accompany Steve as well as he can accompany himself, and with such a polished, managed sound it ends up sounding rather clinical. A waste of a unique talent!

On the other hand, Steve seems happy with it, so good luck to him...but it just isn't anything like what I was hoping for.
33 comments| 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 October 2008
Seasick Steve is a fantastic bluesman, I'm a huge fan, and I listen to Doghouse Music constantly, but I'm really sorry to say that this album just doesn't quite do it for me.

Doghouse Music is a superb album - simple, straightforward, totally un-produced and packed with real feeling and passion. Thats what Seasick Steve means to me - his views and experiences of a different world, (one I hope I'll never know) are powerful and honest, and he can really play that guitar too.

It was obvious that this album would be more commercial, more produced, because Steve is now a massive worldwide phenomenon (rightly so) and so there is alot more at stake. There are some great tracks on this record, and Steve does his best to shine through, but the band are wrong for him, the arrangements are wrong for him, and the mix is wrong for him too! If you listen really carefully, you can hear the fantastic rolling rhythms of doghouse music in the guitar riffs, but almost every song is drenched in bass and drums, and it is they who set the rhythm, NOT Steve! At times you have to strain to hear his guitar at all, due to the terrible mix, and even the vocals are too quiet on several numbers.

For me the problem is that this is just a blues record with Seasick Steve in the band. If you took him away, all you would have is a bunch of session players jamming the blues, and since he's drowning in the mix half the time, thats all you have got on some of the tracks. No band can ever accompany Steve as well as he can accompany himself, and with such a polished, managed sound it ends up sounding rather clinical. A waste of a unique talent!

On the other hand, Steve seems happy with it, so good luck to him...but it just isn't anything like what I was hoping for.
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on 6 October 2008
Seasick Steve is a one off,a throw back to the great Mississippi hillblues.This album his third and the first on a big label,I expected a commercial overload,but no.Sure he's got Grinderman,Nick Cave and a track with K.T.Tunstall(which is an absolute treat),but its still SSS doing his thing and doing it his way,so this is an album of pure delight,from a very Eric Bibb type song in Walkin' Man to the cracking track with Grinderman(Just like a king) to some classic blues as well as his chat and stories for good measure.All in all another slice of musical magic from the man.The bonus disc has a couple of pretty good songs and a whole lot of filler,Train is recorded on a train but SSS voice is almost impossible to hear,the track recorded in a diner well is a waste of time,as is the one called Lunch.Surely Warner could have done better than this as a bonus disc ,some live material would have been great,but this is so disappointing for the extra cost,or was the extra for the pull out packaging,very nice but again not worth the effort.So in all a fabulous main album but a wasted bonus disc.
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2008
This is my first forray into blues but I must say I'm liking the cutaway sound of Seasick Steve. The problem I have with this album stems purely from the bonus disc, which is a complete waste - how Warner could warrant such an extortionate price is beyond me. The bonus disc consists of 3 completely pointless filler tracks containing mostly non-descript background noise with some spoken audio. There are only 2 songs on the CD which I don't think come close to matching those of the main CD. The packaging has a foldout section of a train travelling along a cityscape, which cleverly forms a picture when folded down or out. This is a novelty but again not worth the extra money - and where is the booklet???? There are also 3 extra tacks on the main CD not found on the standard version, of which I particularly like Levy Camp Blues. But again, not worth such a hike in price. Perhaps the minimalist packaging and bonus content fit with the style of music on offer here but I can't but help to feel short changed. If I'd known all this before purchasing I would have been persuaded to get the standard version of the album instead.... isn't hindsight such a bittersweet thing. Very good main CD though, just loving Walkin Man in particular. But I can't hide my discontent at the bonus content and extortionate rise in price.
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on 1 October 2008
I love blues music, all types new and old and I love this album.This is more in the style of the older bluesmen (compared to SV or Clapton type stuff). If you enjoy blues get this album,you won't regret it, yes it does sound like old delta blues and isn't a new style but so what, Steve is great at it and no-one else is doing anything like it at the moment,it may be an old style but it still sounds great and is played from the heart.
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on 6 October 2008
One thing you have to say about Seasick Steve is he plays the blues,he plays it well.So many have come into the blues in recent years ,rocked it up and done more harm than good until rock-blues is so far removed from its roots that its hard to see where it came from.SSS may not be an original but he's brought the blues back home without taking the heart out of it.This album is pure blues,great songs ,played well,with a whole lot of heart and soul in it,and that's what counts and Steve does it all so well.If you like this then go and listen to originals like R L Burnside or Junior Kimbrough,both from the Mississippi hill country.But I'' say one thing Steve is right in there with them,and he's doing a tremendous job for the blues,and to get on a major label doing it that's just spot on.This is a great blues album,hold od though,this is purely one great album by an international treasure so get it,enjoy it because this is what the blues is all about.Oh and credit to both K.T.Tunstall and Nick Cave and Griderman your just the ticket on this very very fine album.
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on 20 March 2009
I bought this CD having just watched the Reading set on TV. I think that the CD is too contained and does not have the drive that he seems to deliver on stage. The last track should not have got onto the CD - a long winded spoken story about nothing much at all.
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on 30 September 2008
I've always been a fan of Blues music, so much so, when I was on holiday in the USA when I was 19, I paid a visit to the House Of Blues. A couple of years later at 21, I went to Chicago and visited a few Blues clubs, which consisted of seedy basements with old peanut sacks on the roof, and we must have been the only white faces in there. The atmosphere was amazing, one which I'll never forget. Seasick Steve is of the same standard I saw in those blues clubs. So put a lil rhythm & blues in your heart & soul by buying this album!
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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