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Man From Another Time, Seasick Steve - Music from another time
on 3 January 2010
In this, his fourth record since he exploded onto the music scene a few short years ago, Seasick Steve has produced another classic.
The disc is chock full of up tempo blues. It stomps, it boogies, it gets your feet tapping. It shows why Steve is one of the most highly regarded blues artists of the last 20 years.
The key to Steve's artistry is that, like all great blues artists, he has lived a full and eventful life, with much hardship. His writing and singing is inspired and informed by the years of hoboing around America. It adds another dimension to the recording, a touch of realism that sets it apart. It's reminiscent of the great Blues artists in 1950's Chicago, such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, many of whom had tough lives before (and after) they found fame. Indeed, there are several occasions when Steve plays guitar breaks that sound a lot like Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker. That other great bluesman, Bo Diddley, gets a name check in the first song (a tribute to Steve's unique one string instrument, the Diddley Bo) which is based around the famous Diddley beat.
This is music straight from the heart. No meaningless lyrics, pointless overproduction or synthesisers, it's real music played by real people with a great deal of skill and a deep love of what they're doing. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys music with feeling. Probably not of interest to fans of Cowell style plastic pop. This record really deserves to collect a lot of awards. My only slight niggle is that there are none of the great spoken word stories of his life as a Hobo that were so effective on his previous recordings.
If you enjoy this then check out Steve's other offerings, `I started out with nothing', `Doghouse music' and `Cheap. I would also recommend `Electric Dirt' by Levon Helm, another record made with feeling.