Seasick Steve: You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks (Liberator)

 |   |  <1 min read

Seasick Steve: Treasures
Seasick Steve: You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks (Liberator)

Steve – who makes or adapts his own guitars, counted Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain as friends and had Grinderman, Ruby Turner and KT Tunstall on his raw 08 album Started Out With Nothing And I Still Got Most of It Left – has been a hobo, busker and record producer in his time, and his blues-infused albums reflect stories of a hard life.

He got his break on an '06 Jools Holland show and has won many awards since, but still sounds like he's crawled from a Mississippi swamp here on songs like the Muddy Waters-influenced Burnin' Up.

Close in spirit to characters like T-Model Ford, the late RL Burnside and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Steve can shift from folk-blues (Treasures with banjo and fiddle, Whiskey Ballad) to acoustic funk (Have Mercy on the Lonely) and explosive electric playing with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass (the throbbing title track, Back in the Doghouse).

There are some songs where he repeats a style (What A Way to Go and Party don't add much other than more razor-wire playing) and the weaker material doubtless brushes up menacing when delivered live.

The bonus hidden track is a one-listen, 12 minute rambling story about hitching around in '67 . . . which tells you he should stick to singing them raw'n'rowdy blues.

Like the sound of this? Then turn an ear to this guy.

Share It

Your Comments

Pete - Jun 22, 2011

This guy is absolutely amazing. Can you buy it in NZ

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Timothy Armstrong: Portraits (TA)

Timothy Armstrong: Portraits (TA)

Based in Wellington, New Zealand this singer-songwriter is also in the band The Novelist but has run a parallel but separate career as a solo artist. This, the second outing under his own name,... > Read more

Wire: Document and Eyewitness (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Wire: Document and Eyewitness (Pink Flag/Southbound)

Post-punk arty-smarties Wire have delivered some excellent albums in recent years, notably Red Barked Tree in 2011 and more recently last year's Change Becomes Us for which they went back to tapes... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AL GREEN INTERVIEWED (2004): Soul from pulpit to the street

AL GREEN INTERVIEWED (2004): Soul from pulpit to the street

In Memphis, a few kilometres south of Graceland is a small church in Hale Rd, a sidestreet off Highway 51 also known as Elvis Presley Boulevard. Not many music lovers make it this far; they are... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more