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Seasick Steve - how big in the US?

stallion 12 Feb 08 - 07:37 PM
PoppaGator 12 Feb 08 - 07:36 PM
Gene Burton 12 Feb 08 - 07:03 PM
Gene Burton 12 Feb 08 - 07:02 PM
matt milton 12 Feb 08 - 11:28 AM
21st Century Bluesman 12 Feb 08 - 10:29 AM
21st Century Bluesman 12 Feb 08 - 10:13 AM
Murray MacLeod 31 Jan 08 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Mick "the one and only" 31 Jan 08 - 09:37 AM
PoppaGator 29 Jan 08 - 01:56 PM
NormanD 29 Jan 08 - 07:03 AM
Murray MacLeod 28 Jan 08 - 05:26 PM
wee tommy 28 Jan 08 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Rich 28 Jan 08 - 11:11 AM
wee tommy 27 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Rich 27 Jan 08 - 06:59 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Jan 08 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Rich 27 Jan 08 - 04:48 AM
George Papavgeris 26 Jan 08 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Rich 26 Jan 08 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Frug 26 Jan 08 - 06:49 PM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Jan 08 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,d at seasicksteve.com 09 Jan 08 - 08:07 AM
GUEST, 21st Century Bluesman 07 Jan 08 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 06 Jan 08 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 05 Jan 08 - 02:49 PM
Santa 05 Jan 08 - 11:28 AM
NormanD 05 Jan 08 - 08:53 AM
M.Ted 04 Jan 08 - 08:09 AM
Mr Happy 04 Jan 08 - 07:49 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Jan 08 - 03:31 PM
Effsee 03 Jan 08 - 03:10 PM
George Papavgeris 03 Jan 08 - 02:17 PM
Backwoodsman 03 Jan 08 - 01:46 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 08 - 01:00 PM
Mr Happy 03 Jan 08 - 12:10 PM
Lowden Jameswright 03 Jan 08 - 12:05 PM
Mikefule 03 Jan 08 - 11:16 AM
Grab 03 Jan 08 - 07:32 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 08 - 07:10 AM
matt milton 03 Jan 08 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 03 Jan 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST, 21st Century Bluesman 03 Jan 08 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 03 Jan 08 - 05:55 AM
matt milton 03 Jan 08 - 05:45 AM
Betsy 03 Jan 08 - 04:14 AM
PoppaGator 03 Jan 08 - 03:15 AM
Mikefule 03 Jan 08 - 02:36 AM
M.Ted 02 Jan 08 - 08:01 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jan 08 - 03:27 PM
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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: stallion
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:37 PM

Well, I had seen the thread title and it intrigued me, now, having seen the Jools Holland thing, yea, he was entertaining but then I de constructed what he was doing and thought I could play that and I only play the guitar "in the bath". Having said that I could have laid a pile of bricks in an art gallery for a lot less than the thirty grand that the Tate paid but I didn't think of it, someone beat me to it. Fair play to the guy, business is tough and if someone wants to pay him loads for what he does that's his good luck, as for Georgie P. then I would trade what S.S. has for what you have got cos G.P. will leave a legacy of songs that will still be sung long after you , me and S.S. have gone.
Peter


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:36 PM

I certainly agree with matt milton about that "schism."

Without naming names, there are guitar players who are absolute virtuosos at every variety of fingerpicking, including the most impressive of ragtime and blues selections ~ but who can't sing a lick, not with any blues feeling or soul, anyway. I may very well admire such an artist and enjoy most if not all of his work, but I would not consider him a "blues artist."

The worst offenders, to my mind, are the guys who slavishly duplicate every lick of a given "classic blues" recording, including the original artist's occasional dropping of a beat or two ~ something not all that unusual in the blues.

It's relatively important to be able to free oneself from a too-rigid adherence to four-beats-per-measure/twelve-measures-per-verse ~ it's taken me decades to even begin to play with the freedom of someone like, say, Sleepy John. But the goal is to develop that freedom ~ not to lock oneself into playing the same three-beat measure in the same place in the same chorus of the same song, every time. It's only the blues if it's a little different every time around.

My impression of Seasick Steve, based on just those very few video clips, is that he is the real deal, a very free and expressive blues singer and a plenty-good-enough self-accompanyist on the guitar. I understand those who dismiss him as "fourth-rate," and don't find it necessary to criticize them. Let's just say that their idea of what the blues is difffers considerably from mine.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:03 PM

...100!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:02 PM

Hmmm, interesting...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 11:28 AM

Reckon a lot of this discussion comes down to a very real schism: some listeners value certain things about blues that others consider mistakes. For me, it's all about dissonance and grit and liberties taken with notes and guitars that sound slightly out of tune. (Maybe not every single one of those with every singles blues musician I like...)

So I've got no time for Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn. You can call them what you like, but I can't detect anything bar a formality of genre that they have with, say, Sleepy John Estes or Robert Johnson or Mississippi Fred MacDowell (to name three of my favourite blues musicians). Come to think of it, you could lay all the accusations laid at Seasick Steve here at Sleepy John Estes. A lot of the criticisms made here about Seasick Steve are precisely why I like him and why he is blues.

Thanks for the heads up on Paul Geremia. I'd never heard of him before. But y'know, it's not an either/or... I'd be happy to watch him on Jools Holland. Or Robert Belfour. Or CeDell Davis (is CeDell Davis still alive?)


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: 21st Century Bluesman
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 10:29 AM

I forgot to comment on this tripe. Murray, how you can begin to make statements like this one below and hope to be taken seriously I really don't know...

"I hold no animosity whatsoever to Seasick Steve, he has carved himself a niche and good luck to him, but fer Chrissakes, he is fourth
rate as a blues performer, he knows it, and anybody who really knows the blues knows it".


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: 21st Century Bluesman
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 10:13 AM

Well, Paul Geremia is a very good player, but rather uncharismatic to my mind, and Steve's voice is a lot better than his. Calling Steve fourth-rate is both rude and ignorant.

And talking of missing the point, Mick 'the one and only'... Steve is one of the very 'grooviest' players I've ever heard. He does make a lot of deliberate use of accelerandos. Perhaps that's what you're hearing Mick. Or perhaps you haven't been paying attention during those 25 years. Some of them professional...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 03:04 PM

Excuse me Norman, but there are no acoustic blues players on the planet who could "knock spots off" Paul Geremia.

The clips you may have seen on Youtube do not do justice to the man's virtuosity.

The first time I saw (or even heard of) Paul Geremia was at Cambridge Folk Festival, at the Guitar Workshop, where he more than held his own on stage with such luminaries as Dave Bromberg, Dick Fegy, Stefan Grossman, and the late and much lamented Isaac Guillory. Trust me , these guitar workshops in the 70's were cutting contests of the highest order, and Geremia came out on top every time.

Since then I have seen him several times in concert in the States, and he has never ceased to amaze me.

I reiterate my statement that a first-rate (sic) player like Geremia is far more deserving of a prime time New Year audience than a well intentioned fourth-rate (sic) performer like SS.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Mick "the one and only"
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:37 AM

Hello ALL,
I went to see Seasick Steve at the Newcastle Academy lastnight with a bunch of mates. We are all lovers of lots of different kinds of music. I have been in the music business 25 years (professionally too) The guy loved Seasick Steve and I just got pissed off as the guy can't play in time and was really really sloppy. I had to leave, even the doorman were amazed! Not as much as me I hoped he'd be great. But I being a musician I can play in time and hold a groove, lastnight even his drummer was having to speed up with him. It freaked me out. Stevie Ray Vaughan is turning in his early grave!!
Sorry but Seasick Steve is very overated!!!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 01:56 PM

I stand by my opinion that Steve is a solid, expressive, and thoroughly "authentic" blues vocalist, and that his instrumental skills, while deceptively simple, enable him to incorporate a lot of tonal variation.

I find his performances to be much more interesting ~ less monotonous ~ that that of many better-known and highly-regarded blues/rock types, inlcuding a few performers others here have cited as superior to Steve. Just my opinion, and not naming names...

Would he have been as successful if he had never left the US? Maybe not.

Here in the states, there is a lot more competition, and simply being white is probably a greater hurdle to overcome here than it is in Europe ~ at least, for a "roots/folk" blues type as opposed to an out-and-out rocker.

By taking his act on the road, so to speak, he put himself in a position where he'd be much less likely to be lost in the shuffle, and perhaps he was able to grow and develop further than he otherwised would have had occasion to do.

I'm sure that many members of the general public (folks who'd never participate in our forum here) enjoyed Steve's first New Year's Eve TV performance, and some of them must have responded to the program's producers. I doubt that he would have been invited back for a second year in a row had there not been some kind of positive reponse. Unless, of course, he made such a big hit with the producers and/or the on-air host that he was brought back on the strength of their opinion alone, without the additional support of public opinion.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: NormanD
Date: 29 Jan 08 - 07:03 AM

Thanks for the intro to Paul Geremia (without an "H" at the end, if you google). I liked and enjoyed the clips I saw. But I really don't see the point in claiming that he has an "authentic blues sound" which is more of an "authentic blues sound" than someone like SSS.

SSS is SSS and Paul Geremia is Paul Geremia. They are both authentic, in their own way and their own styles. One is not first rate, one is not fourth rate. They are both good musicians and may not, for all I know, have even heard of each other. We're dissing one at the expense of the other - I bet these two guys would be more than happy making great music together.

I guess the resentment around these parts is that one is getting some recognition and the other isn't. OK, that's not fair, but that's entertainment.

As I said above, I'm sure there are some Fat Possum players who could knock the spots off of both SSS and Paul Geremia. They're not getting the breaks either.

norman


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 05:26 PM

OK, let's get back to what I understand to be the original point of the thread.

you have a prime time TV slot available, guaranteed viewing figures of millions, who do you book for the show ?

do you book somebody who is available and cheap, or do you try to book the best?

I hold no animosity whatsoever to Seasick Steve, he has carved himself a niche and good luck to him, but fer Chrissakes, he is fourth
rate as a blues performer, he knows it, and anybody who really knows the blues knows it.

so what happens next New Year ?

is there the remotest chance that Jools Holland's producers could spring for Paul Geremiah's airfare, so that the British public could have a chance to hear what authentic blues sounds like ?

or maybe even Johnny Winter's ...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: wee tommy
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 04:37 PM

hi rich,methinks there is more to s.s than the tramp chic he peddles at the moment,is he for real?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 11:11 AM

Hi Tommy,

I don't know, maybe, to be honest I didn't think much of his other (solo) performance that night either - Got to get you into my life - couldn't seem to hit anything. The Kylie thing was an odd one, their voices just didn't work together at all.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: wee tommy
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM

,hi rich totally agree.what was p.mc.thinking,do you think macca can outdo all the good he has achieved?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:59 AM

Hi George, yes I think you are right, we do become more demanding of the things we know are usually very good. I always wondered why not much fuss was made of Bob Dylan's 'John Wesley Harding'; which I think is a cracking little album. However, if you consider that before that album he had released 'Bringing it all Back Home', 'Highway 61 Revisited' and 'Blonde on Blonde' in quick succession, maybe people's expectations meant they jusdged the album against the standard of the previous three, as opposed to on its own merits.

We have a young family and have therefore stayed in over the last few new years eve's and watched JH's Hootenanny, and have always been impressed with the line up. I wasn't very impressed with this year's I have to admit, although SSS was a welcome relief after the debacle that was Paul McCartney and Kylie doing 'Dance Tonight'.

Always good to have some thought provoking discussion, nice one.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:24 AM

Oh, goody, now you can explain it to me! :-) Seriously though, and I know I have not explained myself 100% clearly, I think this is to do with my hating being "talked down to" by the media generally. Even BBC News is dumbed down ridiculously nowadays. And when TV presenters tell me that I should like something because they know best, I get into my Victor Meldrew mode, as Vanessa calls it.

I don't think much of JH as a musician, but for years I have grudgingly accepted that he does put on his show some very good and eclectic acts, both new and from the past. His is one of the few programmes I know on UK's TV that somehow tries to be mature and does not resort to Pop Idol or X Factor-type tricks to whip up an audience's frenzy or promote unthinking adoration of the latest musical celebrity. I guess I am more demanding of JH's programme than of the rest of the trash they serve us, and more critical because of it too. His intro to the second appearance of SSS(which I now sadly don't remember) riled me therefore, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

I am pleased that I unwittingly unleashed an opportunity for some excellent and informative posts. It's been a good thread to monitor.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 04:48 AM

Fair play George, I think I understand now what you were getting at.

Cheers,
Rich


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 09:52 PM

Rich,

what you say is perfectly proper and I agree. I did enjoy SSS very much the first time I saw him, though the novelty had worn off a bit a year later. My query was not in order to help me make up my mind about SSS, but rather to help me understand the motivation of Jools Holland in having him on for the second time, and the truthfulness of his (JH) adulation.

I have no problem with SSS. I see him as a solid performer with perhaps a bit too much emphasis on the novelty aspects; anyone who entertains a theatre of 3,000 people can't be all that bad after all. But I couldn't see him cutting it back home - and JH's claims were therefore somewhat suspect. SSS came out shining out of this discussion - JH did not, IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 08:26 PM

Sorry about this George, not wanting to be negative, but you got me thinking. When I look at your original question, I find myself in a bit of a quandry. What does any of what your asking matter. You have a doubt as to whether you think the guy is any good, but then want to know whether he is big in the states. Whether he is or not should be irrelevant, if you are coming to him cold, just decide whether you like him or not, don't worry about whether a load of other people do or don't. If you think he's not so good, then what difference does it make if a load of people do, that's your opinion and that's cool.

Decide for yourself whether he is the real thing or not, and stick with your own decision, whatever anybody else thinks.

Sorry George, I hope this doesn't sound negative or harsh, I just don't think what anybody else thinks matters when you are deciding whether someone is the real thing or not.

Cheers, Rich.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 06:49 PM

Well seeing all these comments and having the opportunity for a freebie!! went to Seasick this evening at Birmingham Academy. Great show The man has charisma. Sure he's not the greatest guitarist but he's as good as a lot and overall competent. He does have great stage presence which probably only comes over live. he went down a storm to a packed house of nearly 3000....................let the people speak !!

Frank


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 06:54 AM

If you DO like SS you'll also enjoy Rev Payton's Big Damn Band (trio of steel guitar, washboard & bass drum).

RtS


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,d at seasicksteve.com
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 08:07 AM

Hi there!
I stumbled across this page by accident and thought I'd clear up a few things. I'll leave my personal opinions out of it, but I have a unique position with regards to the *facts* about Steve.

Responses to questions/criticisms/scepticisms:

Those clothes are what Steve wears all the time, and pretty much has as long as I've known him. Long before he was well known in any way, or even playing live performances or anything.

The three string guitar, as mentioned by somebody else, started as a joke and kind of snowballed from there. People love it, and it has a great sound, so he wrote some songs for it. He doesn't much like playing it (hurts!) but people get disapointed at the gigs if he doesn't.

The mississippi drum machine came into existence because Steve has habit of stomping his foot *really* hard while he plays, just to keep the beat. Now I'm just talking about around the house, playing for fun. I remember visiting him sometimes and you'd actually hear the whole house shaking, windows rattling, etc, from outside. So when he recorded Doghous Music, in the kitchen, he wanted a way to record the stomp sound, which resulted in putting a mic in a wooden box, bit o' carpet, license plate from a Harley he used to have for decoration.

The stories are true.

Most of the hobo stuff happened a long time ago. 60's etc. 70's he was in a number of bands, including Shanti, as well as playing as a studio musician, writing songs for some other singers/bands, and generally doing the 'starving artist' thing, playing on the streets in Paris, etc etc. 80's, met norwegian wife, moved all over the states doing music stuff, having a family, working as a paramedic, amongst other things, ran a guitar store, then started Moon Music recording studio in Olympia, WA (http://moon.deified.net/). After that (2001) wife wanted to move back to Norway. Started Juke Joint Studios (http://www.jukejointstudio.com/takeatour.htm) and had a heart attack. After that stopped work at the studio, and focussed on the music again, making an album with some friends (the level devils) and just releasing it cheap in Scandinavia, with limited success. I believe it was Joe Cushley (radio dj in London, resonance fm) got a hold of one of the cds and lined up a few small gigs, at the 12 bar club, etc, people just freaked out. The album is one thing, not to everybody's tastes, but people just LOVE the live shows, it's astonishing. After that, randomly got asked to do a track on Jools Holland, then played nearly every festival in the UK last summer, and the rest you know.

He is totally authentic, though there is more to him than JUST the 'hobo' thing. I'm an illustrator, so when I write my CV, I don't put down the other random jobs I've had, I focus on the relevant things. That's what anybody would do. So Steve chooses to write songs about, and focus on a period in his life that is relevant. I think that's fair.

I understand that some people may be bitter, or think him undeserving of the limited success he's now had (after 40 years as a professional musician, mind you) but please understand that he has worked extremely hard for this, and has managed some form of success *without* compromising himself in any way. He's honest, authentic, and plays because it's what he loves. He's always played, and always will, whether the success lasts or not.

If you can't respect that then your respect isn't worth a damn anyways...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST, 21st Century Bluesman
Date: 07 Jan 08 - 08:47 AM

Steve is in session with and being interviewed by Colin Murray on BBC Radio 1 tonight. Tune in!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 03:24 PM

Please explain what you mean, Santa? I thought it was a rather charming and informative piece.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 02:49 PM

Personally I find Mr. Seasick sings with a lot of soul, which is about nine tenths of the battle, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Santa
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 11:28 AM

I came to this thread after reading his piece in the Guardian. I thought it was so hokey as to be unbelieveable.   Nothing wrong with that attitude as a Guardian columnist, but as a "for real" musician? Not impressed.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: NormanD
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 08:53 AM

In today's The Guardian UK newspaper, there's a feature by Seasick Steve on living in Oslo, which is now his home town
Read it here


Thanks for all the links to other current blues players.

Norman


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 08:09 AM

I haven't been able to get any of the youtube bits to work, unfortunately. If PG likes him, though, that's a good sign. And my sympathies are always going to be with the blues musician, especially a homeboy--


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 07:49 AM

.........& now the one & only http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rsJtqc7jaPM !!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 03:31 PM

8-)


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Effsee
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 03:10 PM

I think the old Demis Roussos kaftan "look" might suit you better George!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 02:17 PM

Hi John - thanks, same to you too!
Yes, I meant "why doesn't he let himself go like all self-respective 50- or 60-somethings"!

I obviously unleashed something with this thread. Interesting posts from many, as indeed I was hoping, given the blues background of the Cat.

And I'm learning. Clearly, gimmicks are a good thing - SSS is praised for using them - so that gives me an idea. Perhaps the Greek pleated skirt and bobble shoes for my next gig! But I don't like the white tights, they make me appear fat (clearly just an optical illusion).


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 01:46 PM

Picked up on something w-a-a-a-a-y back in this thread:-

"I do wish he'd allow himself to age more gracefully."

What, you mean like us, George? I'm so-o-o-o-o glad we both do something better than Macca! Just wish I could have had the malt on New Year's Eve! :-)

All the best for the New Year mate,
John


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 01:00 PM

Mikefule said

"I thought we were having a general conversation, not a formal debate. Sorry. I'll think more carefully and avoid making comments that aren't absolutely relevant again."

Erm. I just don't get this? Are you saying you were making sloppy, irrelevant remarks because you thought it was a general conversation? Why not up it to a 'formal debate' then, and see if you can make some decent points, eh?

You know nothing about Steve's background and yet making sweeping, and I have to say quarter-baked, judgments about his authenticity. Make straw-man comments about Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry being better than him. Yup, no quibbles. Vaguely talk about 'countless examples' on the scene who are as good as, or superior Steve and then give me Gary Moore, and more straw-man crap about sea-shanties. And now you throw a little rhetorical huff. Pur-lease...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 12:10 PM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pNoPNC3ebYQ


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 12:05 PM

Spent New Years's Day at the Station, Loftus, Saltburn-on-Sea for the acoustic "Hiring Fair" set up by Tony Leonard. Between performances someone said "beats the **** out of Jools Holland's show last night" - including the scintillating mandolin playing of Sir Paul and the stunning vocals from Kyle.......... Ahemmm...pardon me while I burp..

The Station had some great talent on show for free (better than that - included great free food from the Landlord n' lady) - inc Dargan & Gill; Ian Swinburne; Ruth & Gary Wells: Maggie Camp; Alchemist Brothers (aka Fairly Liquid); Mar'tin Nesbitt and Roger Sutcliffe etc

Now I quite enjoyed 'Seasick Steve' but have to agree with '12 string George'. For real talent with the slide guitar we were treated on Tuesday to Roger Sutcliffe + resonator. Folks really should get out more.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mikefule
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 11:16 AM

<>

I thought we were having a general conversation, not a formal debate. Sorry. I'll think more carefully and avoid making comments that aren't absolutely relevant again.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Grab
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 07:32 AM

SS certainly got a good groove. Not something you'd put on your stereo at home, but fun party music. As they say, it's got a beat and you can dance to it...

But Jonny S, Mika undertalented?! Didn't see his performance on Hootenanny, but check out some of his other performances on YouTube and you might change your mind. Mika and Scissor Sisters are the only people doing pop that's as lyrically and musically interesting as Queen used to put out. (If you didn't like Queen though, this might be where things fall apart. :-) I'd agree on Kate Nash though.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 07:10 AM

Yup, Steve played six-string on this number for the Hootenanny - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtY8wED_FMA. He plays six-string far more often than 3-string, which he started playing a couple of years ago as a joke to josh a friend he bought it off. It only had 3 strings on it when he bought it, his friend over-charged him and Steve vowed never to add another string and to tell audiences who ripped him off...

To prove that Steve's not all noise and grunge, he was featured on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's Best Sessions of 2007 programme on BBC Radio 2 last night. You can listen to this gentle acoustic song at:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainframe.shtml?http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/r2_radmac_wed

it starts at about 18 minutes into the prog if you want to fast forward to it.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 07:08 AM

Actually, just having had a quick listen to SS's myspace page for a reminder (it was a fair old while ago that I saw him live), it's pretty damn good music. There's a lot of detail in that playing – I'm not sure what anyone's referring to in talking about "limited technique" etc. Some of the claims and comparisons being made here simply aren't convincing in any degree.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 06:11 AM

I quite enjoyed Seasick Steve, I'd heard of him before (think he was touring the UK not so long ago). Though as far as I could tell he had 6 strings on his guitar that night, and that's the sort of thing I'd notice..

Is he authentic? (whatever that means) Do I care? You don't get on Jools Holland because you're "authentic", you get on Jools Holland because you reach a certain level of profile, you fit the brief, and your management hassles the producers.

If you want to knock anyone who was on the Hootennany show for being over-rated and under-talented I think the most deserving targets would be Kate Nash (Lily Allen without the tunes) and Mika, who looks like a model from a home shopping catalogue who's picked up a microphone by mistake.

My personal highlight was seeing Sir Paul accompanying Kylie Minogue on the mandolin.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST, 21st Century Bluesman
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 05:57 AM

Actually, while I was writing my last post Matt M has made at least one of the points I was going to make in response to Mikefule... There are others though!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 05:55 AM

Dipstick Steve! I see what you did there... Hilarious...

And again with the countless millions of blues-players that folks on this list have seen who are better than Steve. Names and web-links please! Beyond Max, who I did like, I haven't had any names other than some international superstars I wouldn't disagree with, and some ridiculously inappropriate and very well-known figures such as Gary 'Clunkhand' Moore, George Thorogood (a storyteller I'm told - funny, I always thought he was a good bar-room slide guitarist who plays an awful lot of covers) and Johnny Winter.

Betsy, you are either very knowledgeable in the field and very lucky too; or are exaggerating wildly to make an unsubstantiated and barely believeable point. I know which one my money's on.

Thanks to Poppagator for his, I reckon, pretty accurate summation of Steve's qualities. Though, again I stress, there are subtleties and a variety to his playing you won't get on a first look and listen. Did you see his diddley bo work? Search that on Youtube if you get a chance.

Mikefule, I need to answer your points separately in a longer post which I don't have time for at the mo'. Suffice to say in the interim, if Gary Moore isn't a fair comparison, why bring him up?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 05:45 AM

"He sings about Louisiana when he's from Belfast - unforgivable! I for one would never sing a sea shanty, what with me being a clerical worker, and I certainly wouldn't dance the traditional dances of Oxfordshire when I live in Nottinghamshire. Whatever next: folkies in the early 21st century singing songs about the Napoleonic war?"

Those aren't good analogies. The point is not that Gary Moore is singing songs from an entirely different place and culture, it's that he's doing so in an accent and timbre that is a caricature (the oaken "honky bellow" that so many white people adopt when singing the blues – you wonder quite who they think they sound like. As if all black men had James Earl Jones baritones and smoked 50 a day...) The equivalent would be an Englishman singing Oh Danny Boy in a thick Oirish accent, or calypso in a cod-West Indian one. Ugh. It's not what he's doing, it's how he's doing it.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Betsy
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 04:14 AM

Dipstick Steve would be more appropriate - I've seen hundreds over the years like him - they even give bona fide buskers a bad name .


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 03:15 AM

I just checked out a couple of those Seasick Steve videos and ~ I like him! I think that he's an exceptional blues vocalist, especially for a white guy, and a pretty serious student of the John Lee Hooker school of hypnotic boogie.

Sure, he's a minimalist ~ but that's a really deep groove he lays down, and it's no easy task to command so much attention with so little technique (and so few strings). He is putting a lot of personality and emotional content into play without the distraction of any musical frills ~ almost like storytelling (regardless of whether you are clearly hearing any of the lyrics). If this kind of artistry isn't "folk," I wouldn't know what is.

I find his sound to be less monotonous than, say, Johnny Winters', despite Mr. Winters' far greater technical virtuosity. Steve's performance includes a lot of variety in tone and intensity, whereas Johnny is pretty much full-bore high-energy at a constant high pitch, which (to me) gets old fast.

That's just my opinion, of course, and some of you are going to think I'm nuts, maybe even think less of me, but there it is. I am certainly well aware that not everyone understands the blues; hell, none of us understand anything in exactly the same manner as another. If you don't dig John Lee Hooker or Otis Taylor, you certainly won't "get" this guy, either.

Caveat: I enjoy this music, but can't imagine it as a steady diet, not as a listener and certainly not as a player. I play almost exclusively to amuse myself, and to stay amused, I require a much wider variety of riffs and sounds. Playing basic slide guitar on six strings can get too boring for me to keep at it long enough to ever get that good; I'm much happier listening to myself run through chord changes and learning to play tricky little figures here and there. But I certainly enjoy a much wider variety of music than what I play ~ including the deeply simple kind of rauncy blues/rock that this fellow does pretty dang well.

The gimmickry (Mississippi license plate on the kick-box, the three-string deal) is irrelevant to the music, but I suspect that it's the key to Steve's success. Gives the entertainment-biz "suits" a mnemnomic way to keep him in mind, and something for them to talk about and agree upon. More power to him!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mikefule
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 02:36 AM

<>

I did say it wasn't a fair comparison. I just chose Gary Moore as one of countless examples of people who can play blues based music in a modern style. I'm not particularly a fan (I have only one Gary Moore album) but he does what he does well.

He sings about Louisiana when he's from Belfast - unforgivable! I for one would never sing a sea shanty, what with me being a clerical worker, and I certainly wouldn't dance the traditional dances of Oxfordshire when I live in Nottinghamshire. Whatever next: folkies in the early 21st century singing songs about the Napoleonic war?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 08:01 PM

If Seasick Steve was big in the US, he would be in the US.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 03:27 PM

"Trust me, Poppagator, I've listened to him and YES, you can do better, lots better..."

Gee whiz, Kat, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I'm pretty sure you've never actually caught my act!

Well, I suppose you may have drawn your own conclusions based on the implicit endoresement I recently received from our mutual acquaintance Spencer Bohren, when he invited me to join him (along with about 20 other "guest artists") at his annual sold-out Christmas show. I'm very glad to report that our little two-song duet performance was an absolute success. Since my frozen-in-time 1968-72 repertoire is about half Mississippi John Hurt songs and the other half Dylan covers, we did one of each: an MJH medley (what I call the "Ain't" medley ~ Ain't Nobody's Business and Ain't No Tellin') followed by When I Paint My Masterpiece. It was a rare and very pleasant experience to occupy the spotlight, so to speak, singing solo before such a large and discerning audience with the support of a really terrific intrumental accompanyist.

Incidentally, I'm sure you could add Bobert to the list of blues-playing Mudcatters who'd compare favorably to Seasick Steve, or for that matter pretty much anyone. He's one of the very few 'catters I've met in person and with whom I've swapped songs, and he is indeed the real deal.


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