Love & Peace by Seasick Steve – Album Review
By Victoria Holdsworth
Carrying the title of something we could all use around the world at this moment in time, the American bluesman is back with his 10th album. With his familiar blend of Americana and his own incomparable and unparalleled style of blues, boogie and exemplary folk rock, Love & Peace is a contender for album of the year.
‘I Will Do For You’ sees the beard of blues offer us something that we have only had little spikes of before in his previous album offerings – it’s very atmospheric, with lyrics and music sounding effortless, and quite emotive. A stand-out track, ‘Clock Is Running’, is full to bursting with some boisterous and string ripping melodies and gut busting rhythms.
It’s an album that will definitely open your eyes to the complexities of Seasick Steve’s music and the layers of sound that he achieves by just ‘feeling it’.
My personal favourite, ‘Church Of Me’, sees the maestro howl like a preacher man, dragging you down to the deep south with some unrivalled delta themes running rampant through the whole piece. It will make anyone sit up and take notice.
“Appealing to fresh ears”
With a nod to festival season, the aptly named ‘Toes In The Mud’, is a real anthemic piece that I cannot wait to hear played live! Hopefully next year now – and with a miniscule amount of mud.
If you are going to miss any festivals this year, fear not, as the man himself has been providing home gigs on line, helping to ease some of the lockdown depression, and giving everyone a chance to kick up their heels.
Seasick Steve commented: “Since we all locked up, I was thinking about music. I was supposed to be going on tour, but now I can’t do it. For me, music is all about y’all… it’s about playing for people. I surely miss you all and wish I could be out there playing for you. In these crazy times seems to me there just ain’t enough love and peace to go around. I ain’t exactly sure what this here record got to do with love and peace, but I figured I’d call it that anyways!”
There are plenty of future classic Seasick Steve tracks on this album for all the hardcore fans, however he has provided a unique twist to his usual style to make it appealing to a fresh set of ears. The man has partied with Janis Joplin, was an acquaintance of Hendrix and has even lived next door to Kurt Cobain in his varied 65 year existence, but unlike most that have gone before, he is still rocking and rolling on, preferring a more reclusive existence to the spotlight that’s now firmly fixed on him.
‘Carni Days’ is full of imagery which delights all the senses and transports you to sunnier, more relaxed, slow and drawn out landscapes, further adding to the ingenious storytelling which flows throughout.
With a voice at times like thick molasses, then like a weathered old blues man the next, the musicianship between Steve and his long serving drummer, Dan Magnusson (aka Crazy Dan) is as perfectly in sync as ever. Contributions from guitarist Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and harmonica wizard Malcolm Arison (The BossHoss) ensure the tightness of this musical ensemble adds depth to every song and bar played to the greatest effect.
With Love & Peace Seasick Steve is out of his dog house and ready to bite.