It's difficult not to like an album that crackles into life with instruments that sound like a rattlesnake preparing to pounce. That is how Steven Wold, better known to the world as Seasick Steve, has chosen to introduce his seventh studio offering 'Sonic Soul Surfer'. For a septuagenarian with a predilection for homemade guitars, he's also pretty prolific. His debut was released a little over a decade ago, but this new record seems to present a more polished and more confident Seasick Steve. Wold has really hit his stride here and seems happy to let his band do some of the heavy lifting. If the Seasick Steve manifesto presented here is: "We'll do our best to rock your socks", then I'm pleased to say it's job done.
'Sonic Soul Surfer' does little to move Wold away from Blues Rock, but it feels accomplished because it seems to streamline his approach. The campfire intimacy and storytelling of earlier recordings is replaced with a desire to jam as a band. The material is no less gritty, but is infused with a newfound vigour that relies less on the gimmick of homemade instruments and more on the song writing itself. There's a retro feel as demonstrated by the album cover, but these songs aren't chained to the past, Wold presents them with the hunger of a musician half his age. Take opener 'Roy's Gang' as an example and you'll find lyrics that celebrate his success of recent years: "I wanna get on that stage. I wanna play you my very best show". This isn't a man looking to the past as his glory days, rather he's looking to the future, and that's what makes this material so appealing.
Some of the familiar Seasick Steve hallmarks are present here; 'Dog Gonna Play' is one example. However, Wold galvanises his band around a traditional Blues riff, and ends up giving his younger contemporaries, like The Black Keys, a run for their money with the menace and swagger of the resulting track. Even the quirky use of the jaw harp on single 'Summertime Boy' doesn't feel like Wold is relying on little used instruments to make his work stand out. Instead, it's used to elevate the Blues jam to match the carefree sentiment of the lyrics.
Continue reading: Seasick Steve - Sonic Soul Surfer Album Review
The famous blues musician has unleashed his seventh studio album, Sonic Soul Surfer
Seasick Steve and his blues are back and the 73-year-old musician has released a new album, Sonic Soul Surfer. Steve Wold started touring with fellow blues musicians in the 1960s but didn’t release his first album until 1996, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About.
Seasick Steve has pleased fans with a seventh studio album
However, the dungaree-wearing, long-bearded, ultimate cool (not so) kid didn’t become very well-known until 2006 after his appearance on Jools Holland’s annual New Year’s Eve show, Hootenanny.
Continue reading: Seasick Steve Has Released A New Album Of Blues
Just as it is right and proper that you support your local football team, regardless of their performance, so it is I think that you should support your local festival. (Lounge On The Farm, set in the idyllic Kent countryside just outside Canterbury, is mine). Not everyone can go to Glastonbury and not everyone should support Manchester United; it's not all about the most money, the highest gate or the biggest names. If in doubt, there is always pride, hope, aspiration and an undying loyalty that should lead you to see the positives.
Lounge On The Farm had been going from strength to strength in recent years with numbers swelling, performance areas and performers growing in number and, in general terms, their pedigree rising year on year. Last year may have not seemed like that upon early inspection but it turned out to be a triumph of instinctive and intuitive booking: Emeli Sande (What a year she had in the end), Nile Rogers with Chic (After their Daft Punk collaboration LOTF would have had no chance this year and he didn't even headline), Dexys, The Charlatans (Both enjoying a critical resurgence) and The Wombats etc.
This year the line-up didn't look that strong, or seemed to have strength in depth, and in part that was true. It was a little like seeing your team climb from the fourth tier of the football league, show real championship playoff potential and then have their hopes scuppered by premiership teams coming in for your best players leaving you with no time, or money, left for a new signing. 2 years ago the Vaccines played at about 4pm, as did Spektor. Graham Coxon was somewhere in a far off field and Katy B wooed the crowd in the early evening before The Streets, Ellie Goulding and finally, but magnificently, Echo & The Bunnymen brought the weekend to a close. (Oh yeah and Example and Annie Mac came too....there were real decisions to be made)
Continue reading: Lounge On The Farm - Merton Farm, Kent 26th-28th July 2013 Live Review
Seasick Steve - This year Small Steps were the smallest charity at the Glastonbury Festival, but it still managed to get shoes from celebrities in attendance such as Rita Ora, Professor Green, Kate Nash, Kenny Rogers, B. Traits and Seasick Steve, with more still to come from acts including Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Example, Iggy Azalea and Jake Bugg. - Glastonbury, United Kingdom - Friday 5th July 2013
Albums of Note... Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned after a lengthy break, with Mosquito. It’s a marked step in the band’s evolution and a further step away from their punky roots. Mosquito has opened up further avenues of creative possibilities for a band that once seemed shackled by their arty roots and somewhat more importantly, Karen O now has blonde hair, now folks. That’s the big news here.
“The possibilities for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs now seem endless. The inclusion of Kool Keith's alter ego Dr Octagon on 'Buried Alive' is one such example. Although slightly scattergun in its approach, Mosquito almost feels like a record the band needed to make to reach the next stage of their evolution.”
Performing his new song 'Purple Shadows' live from his own house is Seasick Steve ahead of the release of his new album 'Hubcap Music' due out on April 29th 2013. The country star is also set to his the UK in May plus a handful of European dates.
Albums of Note... David Bowie’s return to the shelves of our local record shops (well, the few that still exist) has been met with a grateful and adulatory fanfare, across the board and it’s been no different here at Contactmusic. Having run out of contemporary influences upon which to draw, Bowie took the old adage that pop will eat itself and made an album to fit. On The Next Day, Bowie largely references himself and his own body of work, recalling his Berlin days, as well as providing an extension of the tracks he released in the nineties.“Assessing how The Next Day sits alongside anything else he's done is irrelevant; an artist who has gone through as many character changes, taken on as many styles and moved through as many eras as he has defies such lazy list making. What can be said is that it is, at this point in time, at this point in his life and career, probably as good a record that David Bowie could've possibly come up with.”
Some of the mystery of Rhye’s cloaked existence has been unveiled and the band’s two components have been revealed as Toronto born producer Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal of Quadron. They draw comparisons to The XX, partly thanks for Milosh’s falsetto, which led many to believe that it was a woman on vocals. Possibly part of the reason they choose to entitle the album Woman...? “'Woman' is a chilled, tranquil listen but not a boring album by any means. The duo creates songs that fill with distant, mysterious moods. But, it still feels like an intimate album piled high with textured layers.”
There is a certain romance surrounding the story of Seasick Steve and when you see him in interviews you can see that he is generally happy to be there, a really nice bloke and that's how we all should be. Maybe it is because what he has been through in his life and what he has seen, maybe it is not.
Continue reading: Seasick Steve, You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks Album Review