ALBUM REVIEW: Seasick Steve – ‘Love & Peace’

Words by Terresa Allen – Words & Music – Terresa Marie Allen

A global pandemic put paid to the scheduled May release of Seasick Steve’s latest album ‘Love & Peace’ this year, but with a new date all set for the 24th July, Good Call Live’s self-confessed blues baby, Terresa Marie Allen was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the upcoming release and believes we can be rest assured that it’s well worth the wait, with the homespun American blues maestro delivering up a perfect panacea to help the musically minded through these troubled times.

‘Love & Peace’, Seasick Steve’s latest in a long string of studio albums is a delicious mash up of raw-boned blues, sweet boogie woogie and folk-rock interwoven with nuggets of honest, salt of the earth storytelling. This record delivers all the things we’ve come to know and love from Seasick Steve’s unique style with a refreshingly straightforward solid format and sound.

Reflecting the temperament of the album and inevitably Seasick Steve’s own persona, old school methods only were used in the making of the album. Recorded on 2” analogue, it was mixed to analogue, with the vinyl cut taken directly from the 1/2” master tape to the lathe – no technical tampering, no computer-generated notes, nothing but Seasick Steve’s own brand of honest forthright artistry accompanied by some mighty fine fellow instrumentalists.

That list of fellow musicians includes long term friend and collaborator Dan Magnusson (a.k.a Crazy Dan) back in the hot seat as Seasick Steve’s featured drummer, whilst the brilliance of Malcolm Arison’s (The BossHoss) harmonica and Luther Dickinson’s (North Mississippi Allstars) handiwork on guitar shine through.

Written and produced by Seasick Steve and mixed in partnership with Vance Powell (of Jack White and Chris Stapleton fame) the majority of tracks were laid down at renowned LA Studios 606 and EastWest, with a smattering of content recorded at home in Seasick Steve’s barn.

The title track Love & Peace welcomes you in in with extra-long (6 minutes in total) and extra good foot stomping declaration of not only what might well be needed in the current climate, but the responsibility we all hold for a way forward, and sets the tone for a collection of tracks that will move you with their heartfelt lyrics and seamlessly defined rough house blues and Americana style.

Tracks like Regular Man, Clock Is Running, Carni Days, Toes In The Mud and Travelling Man echo perfectly the plain-speaking, homegrown universal truths of the blues; that life and time keep moving right along while one does what one needs to do to get by, stay grounded, dream a little and have some fun. These are accompanied by smoothly layered instrumentals and lamenting declarations of love, lust, obsession and irony all skillfully delivered in tracks I will Do For You, My Woman, Ready Or Not and Mercy which do affine job of showcasing just how sexy the blues can be.

A personal favourite is Church Of Me, another song coming in at around the 6-minute mark that speaks clearly to each individual having the capacity to be the captain of their own destiny. That the spheres really do have their music but the no one can tell you how you must listen or act, that’s all up to your own consciousness and as captain of his own ship Seasick Steve defines and encompasses this all so well with his style, attitude and skill. With lines like “I ain’t no believer, but I sure do believe…” it’s a beautiful, soulful, honest representation of the search for individualism and freedom, the song rising, falling, lifting, and soaring in all the right places.

An accomplished musician and lifelong performer, Seasick Steve’s rise to international fame took shape following a career defining appearance on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny BBC TV show in the UK.  That fateful New Year’s Eve special catapulted him in the heart and minds of blues fans around the world and while there’s no touring at present Seasick Steve is lining up plenty of cool gigs and international tour dates for 2021 which you can check out here.

In the meantime, you can take advantage of pre- ordering/ pre-saving ‘Love & Peace’ here or online through Seasick Steve’s official store, where you can also pick up some limited release 7” vinyls.

If your money’s down for the whole album, you’ll receive 12 well honed, honey dipped tunes to have you whiling away your Covid – 19 crisis time, in the toe tapping, foot stomping, hip swinging, smooth moving, time honoured tradition of blues, imbued with Seasick Steve’s individual sass and style be it on CD, Black or the very cool Indie exclusive release of Clear Vinyl.   

Love & Peace

‘Love & Peace’ is set for release on Friday 24th July 2020 through Liberator Music part of the Mushroom Group.

Follow Seasick Steve here:

With thanks to Mushroom

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