Russell Baillie 's Opinion

Russell Baillie is the Herald’s entertainment editor

Seasick Steve - Started Out With Nothin' and Still Got Most of It Left

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Rating: * * * *

"Seasick" Steve Wold is a sixty-something American bluesman and hobo whose moniker hasn't prevented him crossing the Atlantic to establish a high profile in Britain. But the deep-voiced fellow is no idiot savant or late bloomer - his musical career includes stints as a session musician and studio engineer in Seattle where he produced Modest Mouse before going itinerant again.

This, his third album and major label debut, also shows his former solo act of voice and three-stringed guitar has caused a crowd to gather.

There's a drummer out back most of the time, meanwhile British soul gal Ruby Turner guests on the title track, KT Tunstall adds guitar to Happy Man and Nick Cave and his Grindermen help turn the co-written Just Like A King into one of Cave's better tough-guy duets.

But the best of the 11 tracks are ol' Seasick all by himself, thumb-picking those three strings while stomping along. That's whether he's mourning the death of his pooch on One True, advising the best remedy for an infestation of bugs on Chiggers or ruing the passing years over some bottleneck slide - the contents of said bottle having been put to good use earlier, apparently, on the booze-soaked Whites Stripes-esque Thunderbird - on the closing My Youth.

Russell Baillie







 

 

Russell Baillie

Russell Baillie is the Herald’s entertainment editor

Russell Baillie has been writing about entertainment since shortly after entertainment was invented. His first music review was of five whalers singing around a piano which got him run out of the town of his upbringing, Whangarei. Along the way he discovered writing about moving pictures with sound was just as rewarding as his coverage of gramophone products and musical ensembles. Eventually he found a home at the Herald, as the founding editor of the TImeOut section, where has won prizes for editing, reviewing and feature writing.

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