Seasick Steve - Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground album review

Humble hobo gets reflective on eighth album

Seasick Steve Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground album cover

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As fully formed legends go, Seasick Steve ticked all the boxes when he shot to stardom after his one-man invasion of Jools Holland’s New Year’s Eve Hootenanny 10 years ago. Festivals roared as punters embraced his boxcar tales, self-made guitars and the grizzled warmth he happily translated onto record.

Now in his mid-70s, Steve takes a more reflective approach on his eighth album, letting his full-bore blues roar take a back seat in favour of compelling reflections such as the tough but tender life lessons of Maybe I Might and Hard Knocks, along with well-chosen cover versions including Glen Campbell’s Gentle On My Mind, the Harry Nilsson hit Everybody’s Talkin’ and Arthur Lee’s desperate Signed DC.

There’s an intimate warmth glowing throughout the 20 tracks on these two discs as Steve audibly lives every subtle nuance he sings or plays, maybe still with some disbelief that he’s now able to headline Wembley Arena by his lonesome self.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!