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CD Review: Seasick Steve

Man From Another Time (Rykodisc)


Don't dismiss Seasick Steve because of his stupid moniker. The sixtysomething American-born musician earned the nickname because he got seriously ill while taking a ferry from Norway to Denmark. But that's a footnote on a résumé that includes busking on streets as a teenager, running a studio in Olympia, Washington, producing bands like Bikini Kill and Modest Mouse, and becoming the oldest Brit Award nominee in history. After British TV show host Jools Holland included Seasick Steve as part of his Annual Hootenanny talent showcase in 2006, the guy has gotten a serious second wind, and Man From Another Time, a terrific collection of dirty blues he recorded in a Nashville studio with drummer Dan Magnusson, is testament to that. "Here come the one string diddley bo," he sings enthusiastically in the opening rave-up, "Diddley Bo," a song that alternately recalls the Black Keys and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. His sandpaper vocals perfectly suit songs like "Big Green and Yeller," "Happy (To Have a Job)" and the album-closing jam "Seasick Boogie." The Brits probably dig this guy because he's so stereotypically American. But it's also good stuff, even if Seasick Steve is truly a "man from another time." Jeff Niesel

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