Seasick Steve - Love & Peace review: Doesn’t break boundaries, but still charms
Seasick Steve is back with, incredibly, his 10th studio album. There’s been a lot written about the erstwhile hobo bluesman since he burst onto the scene with Dog House Music in 2006. But whether you buy into the myth, or doubt his train-hopping credentials, there’s still an indubitable, infectious charm about the grizzled singer.
Opener and title track Love & Peace sets the tone — fuzzy guitar and the chorus “Gotta stop the hatred now, give back to love and peace” is an earworm that lingers long in the brain. It’s the stand-out track too, a slightly more polished delivery that’s ripe for radio play.
Laced through the dozen songs is, natch, Steve’s lowdown, dirty guitar sound. It immediately transports you across the Pond to misty-eyed, dusty hot American streets of the (near) past.
For the majority he doesn’t stray too far from the blues rock delivery of his back catalogue. Carni Days, with slide guitar, buzzing frets and tale of fairground ne’er do wells, is classic Americana.
Final track Mercy — “When I draw my last breath who do you think I see, there you be little Mercy staring right back at me” — is just picked strings accompanying the lyrics. Classic Seasick Steve. It doesn’t break any boundaries but that’s the point. The Dog House Boogie man is back.