Seasick Steve

Blues musician Seasick Steve sings about his experience living on the streets of America. His song, Free Country, tells the story of a man who was told not to sit on benches, in doorways, or anywhere for that matter. I came across an excellent mini bio of Steve and decided to post it.

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 television, and playing with John Lee Hooker), Wold is also noted for his unusual custom-made stringed instruments. By the time he was in his sixties, he’d finally released some official material. His first solo album, Doghouse Music, out in late 2006, was performed almost entirely by Wold. Another record, Cheap, was recorded with the Swedish rhythm section the Level Devils. An amorous seven-track Valentine’s Day EP called Songs for Elisabeth (six of the cuts were culled from previous releases) arrived in 2010. With a rustic and at time almost punk blues approach to his material, Wold increasingly merged country blues trance boogie with a street holler voice that makes Tom Waits seem like a mainstream crooner, and the best of his songs carry a hard-earned wisdom that can only come from living on the street one block over from the edge of civility. He released the stark and powerful You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks in 2011. ~ Kenyon Hopkin & Steve Leggett, Rovi


4 thoughts on “Seasick Steve

  1. In lieu of lying by clicking Like, I’ll just say, yes, it’s a free country, in which we enjoy the freedom to spout such ridiculous nonsense if we so desire… thankfully, we also enjoy the right to turn it off after the first 45 seconds, and move on to something less offensive…. I do like the post, it’s very ironic… especially to use the blues to spout bigotry…. you can keep the tune, and stick it under wherever rock it wants to hide under…. more irony in the lack of ownership, or picture of the composer and player…. take care, & Blessed Be….

  2. I am pretty sure he wrote the lyrics to the song in regards to his experience being a homeless person in America and having to deal with the stigma that comes with living that lifestyle. “Don’t you walk on my road Don’t you sit on my bench Don’t you sleep in my park Don’t you look funny at me What you think this is? A free country? Don’t you dare be too poor Don’t come knocking at my door There ain’t no work here you see Don’t come asking nothing from me What you think this is? A free country? I don’t want your kind hangin around here I said: just exactly what kind would that be?” His song has absolutely nothing to do with bigotry. I kindly suggest listening to it again and doing some research on him.Having experienced living on the streets myself, I understand where he is coming from.He is alluding to the way he was treated by less than compassionate people when he was living in difficult circumstances.

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