This is undoubtedly Seasick Steve’s best album; the title aside it has no music hall showmanship about it — or at least no back of the cowboy wagon showboating — and it’s got depth and subtlety. Maybe Mr Wold is as sick of Seasick as we are, though it’s been an excellent career move.
Though Wold (his nickname: he is called Steve and does get seasick) has wandered a bit, and he and his wife have lived in 59 houses, according to Wikipedia (Oops, here come Pickfords, make that 60), he also had a more stable music career than he let on: in the 1960s, his friends included Joni Mitchell, and he worked as a session musician and studio engineer, producing bands such as Modest Mouse. Wold made his UK television debut on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in 2006, introducing the world to his “Three String Trance Wonder” and “Mississippi Drum Machine”. In 2007 he played more UK festivals than any other artist.
So, given that he’s earned a living playing since 1973, he’s a good guitarist and his hobo routine and fake tales about guitars have paid off: he just filled Wembley Arena.
This new CD is more of what made Steve famous, played straight, and it’s very enjoyable. CD2 is acoustic covers and ballads, and almost as good.