The unstoppable grassroots enigma that is Seasick Steve brings his unique take on the Blues to his tenth studio album with `Love And Peace’.
Steve throws a curved ball in straight away at the start of the title track with a strange wobbly vocal intro. This is a departure from the norm as gimmicks and processing aren’t part of the usual Seasick Steve Armoury but we are soon back into a groovy Blues norm that is both catchy and endearing on this track that urges us all to be more compassionate.
The striped down `Regular Man’ see the basic drums guitar and bass interspersed with some gritty harmonica playing and is a real hillbilly rocking chair song.
I Will Do For You’ brings minimalistic Blues riffs with a deep low vocal that rocks you gently. Raising the tempo comes the rocky `Clock Is Running’ filled with tasty distorted guitar breaks that is sure to get feet tapping. A real taste of the deep south is evoked with Carni Days’ resplendent with its light slide guitar parts.
Passing though a less than memorable `Church Of Me’, we reach the half way point in the album and find a gem called `Toes In The Mud’ which is immediately infectious especially with its “Chugga Lugga Lugga” line! This is classic Seasick Steve material.
My Woman’ takes us back to slow laidback Blues. No screaming solos here but just enough notes played with feeling to keep you hooked. `Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Boogie’ is Blues in the vein of the early ZZ Top and is sure to be popular. Meanwhile `Travelling Man’ is kind of psychedelic Pink Floyd meets Country Rock where dreamy phased guitar runs meet chunky Blues Rock phrases with a James Brown-esque vocal.
The final track reverts back to Steve’s grizzly vocal, a simple guitar part and a bass drum to wind things down nicely.
Its true to say that Seasick Steve hasn’t moved far musically from his last release but there are glimpses of more experimentation with effects and styles evident here. Having said that if it ain’t broke why fix it!.
The Blues veterans fans are sure to live this album and the likes of `Love And Peace’ are sure to find their way on to the airwaves at some point. Get out on your porch, turn it up load and sit in your rocking chair and be prepared transported to the Mississippi Delta.
Review by Paul Sabin for MPM