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Dog House Music

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Album Review

Yes, they really do still make albums like this in the 21st century. Steve Wold, otherwise known as Seasick Steve, released his second album, Dog House Music in 2007, his first purely solo effort; he had previously released an album entitled Cheap several years earlier for which he shared the credit with Swedish band the Level Devils. Dog House Music is like a really old John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters album, or maybe something even less commercial as Steve strums his guitar and sings along, his voice sounding drowned in bourbon, and occasionally a song such as "Fallen off a Rock" crashes to life, literally, with the guitar no longer picking out a sorrowful blues lick but strumming wildly and the drums smashing away in the foreground played by two members of his family, HJ Wold and PM Wold. Apart from that however, the entire album is played by Steve, recorded in what sounded like one take, when he might have been sitting in a leaky shack by the Mississippi, almost every track given a short introduction almost as if to explain to a personal audience what the forthcoming song is about and why it is important. The album begins with the very short (just over one minute) track, "Yellow Dog" which sounds like it was been recorded at the bottom of a well, the acoustics are so terrible. When the final track, "I'm Gone," finishes, there is a small gap which is followed by Steve reciting a real shaggy dog story, over five minutes long, no music, just Steve rambling about being arrested and after spending six months in jail, looking for his runaway dog; this eventually runs into another sad blues song (about a dog). Not sure why anybody would want to listen to this story more than once. Even the album cover looks like it was designed and drawn by a six-year-old, but that simply adds to the unpolished and underproduced nature of the work, which is a credit, not a fault.

Customer Reviews

Steve, did you meet someone at the crossroads?

Refreshingly raw blues. Excellent. Seen him on TV (look for a clip), he's got real character and stage presence. This guy strips away any unnecessary distractions. Little backing. No 'sanitized' studio sound. Just Steve, two or three strings on his guitar and his Mississippi drum machine (a box he stamps on). Good, honest blues, played from the core. Just hope he didn't have to sell his soul to find that sound. (where did all the other reviews go? There were dozens giving 4 or 5 stars!)

You ain't got this? What the matter with you, boy?!

Saw Steve supporting Nick Cave's 'Grinderman' last year and he blew me away. Great blues boogie from a honest hobo. Struck through with buzzy riffs and sweet slide - the album is a gem. The best thing I heard in 07 by a country mile

Oh bless you Steve.

The blues is a genre with limitations to the artist playing it. There is a set form and rules to adhere to and from this foundation the musican tells the listener know what he is all about. Modern blues artists tend to forget about the feel and meaning of blues music and what makes it beautiful, concentrating instead on the the technical aspect. What makes this album great is the fact Seasick Steve writes and plays from a genuine place. This is obvious in his live peformances and recordings and it's been a while since I have identifed and made a connection with a modern artist, especially a white guy playing the blues. Steve is a treasure. BUY THIS ALBUM!

Biography

Born: 1941 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like T-Model Ford, Seasick Steve (aka Steve Wold) began recording his own music much later in life than other musicians. A storytelling singer reviving traditional country blues, Wold spent his childhood in California, but left home at 14. As a hobo, he traveled for several years, jumping trains and working odd jobs. After drifting around the U.S. and Europe, he finally ended up in Norway. Aside from his respectable musical background (which includes recording early Modest Mouse, appearing on BBC...
Full bio