Saturday, August 22, 2009

Down with the Blues

So just a few days ago I found out that the one local independent music store that I regularly shopped in, ordered new music from, and could dig for vinyl at closed. For good. Damn it all. Literally, I don't know of another place to replace it within a 90 mile radius. Hell, how do you ever replace a place like that? I mean, when was the last time you know of that a music store opened up with crates of old vinyl that you could depend on to dig at week in and week out? Am I suppose to walk in to the local FYE and ask them to get a hold of Mayer Hawthorne's album for me next month? I don't think so. (ironically I just checked their website and the album is listed, although I highly doubt that my local chapter will stock it - maybe I'll try and report back to you on it)

This is reason enough to listen to some good blues music (and drink, but this isn't a beer blog), and luckily I had an album at my pitiful state of dejection arse's hand to spin: Seasick Steve's Dog House Music. Steve was born in the good ol' US of A, and his life follows a Jack Kerouacesque style of roaming from town to town, job to job. It wasn't until 2004, when he was into his 60's, that he found his way to Norway and got his feet wet recording the music that seems like such an integral part of his identity. And it wasn't until just this month that his music was available in his native country, with the re-release of Dog House Music, which was first released in 2006 in the UK.

The album's music could come straight off an Alan Lomax with its story telling, country style blues grain. Indeed, at points it sounds like Steve has just rolled in off the road, sat down at a microphone, and laid it down just like that, many times starting off with a short intro to explain the track. Along the album's story telling journey Steve introduces and plays some stringed instruments of his own making, like the one stringed diddly bow on Save Me (listen to it below). The album's rough, it's raw, there's nothing flashy here. Looking for some gravelly, side-of-the-road blues playing, give Seasick Steve a try.

Visit his website, his label Bronzerat Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

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