Thursday, April 22, 2010
Seasick STEVE and The Level Devils - Cheap 2004
*Cheap* is the debut album from Seasick Steve. It consists of songs by him and his Swedish band The Level Devils, and also two stories from his life as a hobo.
The Level Devils consisted at this time of Kai Christoffersen playing the drums and Jo Husmo bass. Dan Magnusson subsequently took over drumming duties.
Resoundingly lo-fi and raw, this album from Seasick Steve and the Level Devils
thunders out of the speakers just like the late R L Burnside used to do. Ragged
and loud, it makes most other modern music sound distinctly artificial.
Interspersed with stories of his life as a hobo, he lays down a fearsome groove.
"Sorry Mr Jesus" and "8 Ball" hit you hard with their sheer intensity. "Xmas
Prison Blues" comes straight from the heart and "Rooster Blues" ends the album
with a slice of pure Chicago style blues. Not so much produced as persuaded on
to tape, this music sounds like it should be on an old 78 rather than the
pristine digital clarity of our modern age.
Raw and at the same time unassuming, Seasick Steve is about as far from the
commercial forefront as you can get these days. Maybe that explains his appeal.
Out of time but not out of place, who said a white man cannot feel the blues?
The truth is on show here and to (over) use a phrase the Bluesbunny is fond of,
Seasick Steve is the real deal.
Seasick Steve- Guitars and Foot Percussion
Jo Husmo- Bass
Kai Christoffersen- Drums
01. Cheap 4:05
02. Rockin' Chair 3:36
03. Hobo Blues 3:01
04. Story #1 5:45
05. Sorry My Jesus 4:17
06. Love Thang 3:44
07. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde 5:14
08. Story #2 7:07
09. 8 Ball 3:41
10. Xmas Prison Blues 4:16
11. Levi Song 4:20
12. Rooster Blues 10:47