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.