Seasick Steve - Hubcap Music

Seasick Steve - Hubcap Music
Album Reviews

Only accentuated further by the good old-fashioned tape recording, a raw cut is given to the ripping guitars.

Label: Fiction
Released: 29th April 2013
Reviewer: Hannah Phillips
From the distorted fuzz of ‘Self Sufficient Man’ to the Jack White-style grunge of ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ and ‘Down On The Farm’, ‘Hubcap Music’ cuts a mighty fine groove. No doubt helped along by the addition of Jack White himself, alongside former collaborator John Paul Jones and The Black Crowes' Luther Dickenson. Having already performed live with each of them, Seasick Steve (aka Steven Wold) soon recruited the musicians to lay down a set of recorded collaborations. In doing so, the hobo turned bluesman has indulged in his pals’ rockier roots to add a fresh kick of classic rock’n’roll to his Southern-fried blues.
Only accentuated further by the good old-fashioned tape recording, a raw cut is given to the ripping guitars, one of which gives the album its title, having been formed out of two old hubcaps. Adding to his already thriving collection of custom-made guitars, which includes a cigar-box guitar and a ‘one-stringed diddley bo’, Wold’s creativity with his instruments is testament to the fun and vigour of his playing, as he glides between the foot-stomping funk of ‘Home’ and the ragged euphoria of ‘Coast Is Clear’ so effortlessly that it’s easy to forget that he is now 72 years old. It’s only when he drops his usual grit for the more atmospheric folk and southern drawl of ‘Purple Shadows’ and ‘Over You’ that Wold becomes an old man singing boozy blues. Yet, it’s these slower takes that save this album from being same old.
When bookended with the distinct revs of a tractor starting up, ‘Hubcap Music’ has an authentic feel of a grizzled veteran sitting on his porch, singing recycled tales of years gone by. But recycled though some of these tales may be – his notable past tends to weave its way into much of his work - sung with his Southern drawl and playful hollers, Seasick Steve just about has the charm and vigour to carry them through.
Rating: 7/10
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