Leave it to the British to embrace the eccentric.
In the tradition of such English oddities as Jilted John and Wreckless Eric, 65 year old Seasick Steve is the latest in a long line of slightly off-kilter musical sensations to first hit it big across the pond, and who is now set to hit North American record shops on March 30.
The comparisons however end there.
Escaping from an abusive stepfather by running away from home at age 13, "Seasick" Steve Wold has lived the life of a vagabond hobo for most of his 65 years. His travels have taken him around the North American continent, across the pond, and back many times over. He has hitched all the trains, worked all the odd-jobs, and generally experienced the sort of life that would probably make for one hell of a movie directed by somebody like the Coen Brothers.
Seasick Steve — who got his name from once riding a ferry from Norway to Denmark and, in his own words "puking all night" — is in a word: authentic.
With his balding hair and long grey beard, Seasick Steve looks like the grizzled sort of salty dog you might encounter on a bar stool around closing time at the local biker bar, rather than someone who has sold out London's Royal Albert Hall and played festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella. Did I also mention that his albums Dog House Music and I Started Out With Nothin' And I Still Have Most Of It Left were platinum-sellers in England?
On Man From Another Time, his American debut album for Rykodisc, Seasick Steve combines this gritty sort of lyrical authenticity with an organic sound where things are left as simple as humanly possible. Steve is basically a one-man show here, captured on one gloriously analog recording.