Seasick Steve

I Started Out With Nothin And I Still Got Most Of It Left

Without dwelling on the complex socio-economic factors that can render a person homeless, really, Seasick Steve should have a bath, get a job and shut the fuck up. Of course, you can’t not dwell on such details; Steve’s shtick is singing about his time on the streets. Yet, 66 years old and four albums in, the former hobo ignores the abuse, the horror and the desolation that comes with not having a roof above you. Instead, Steve sings about life on the open road with no-one but his trusty hound for company.

In doing so – just like this review’s tasteless opening sentence – he makes a bad joke out of the misery faced daily by over 100million people worldwide. Despite this, you can’t open a music periodical without being engulfed with lashings of praise about Seasick Steve. And why does no-one offer anything other than unswerving praise (ie: lies) about him? Because we live in an age where so many people pretend to like music, obsessed with not falling behind the hum of the blogosphere. Fact is, music finds itself in a time of flux– bands break in different ways and rarely unify people in the same way they used to – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But is this the best we can do? Desperate-to-be-authentic, carbohydrate-stodgy white blues, played by an elderly man pretending to be a tramp? Really, you deserve better. Apart from allowing Steve somewhere to sleep tonight, this is an irredeemable honk of shit.

James McMahon

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