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Seasick Steve - how big in the US?

GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 03 Mar 09 - 12:58 PM
Seamus Kennedy 17 Feb 09 - 04:27 PM
NormanD 17 Feb 09 - 08:59 AM
matt milton 17 Feb 09 - 06:21 AM
matt milton 17 Feb 09 - 06:18 AM
PoppaGator 16 Feb 09 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Strummin' Steve 16 Feb 09 - 04:16 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Feb 09 - 04:58 PM
Paco Rabanne 27 Jan 09 - 09:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 09 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Harry 27 Jan 09 - 07:17 AM
NormanD 26 Jan 09 - 09:44 AM
Barry Finn 26 Jan 09 - 06:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Jan 09 - 03:21 PM
Mavis Enderby 25 Jan 09 - 12:47 PM
Will Fly 24 Jan 09 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 24 Jan 09 - 11:24 AM
Banjiman 24 Jan 09 - 06:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jan 09 - 08:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 09 - 08:31 PM
Alice 23 Jan 09 - 08:09 PM
Fortunato 23 Jan 09 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 23 Jan 09 - 07:27 PM
Dave Roberts 23 Jan 09 - 06:13 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Jan 09 - 04:12 PM
Will Fly 23 Jan 09 - 04:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 09 - 03:49 PM
NormanD 22 Jan 09 - 06:09 PM
Kampervan 21 Jan 09 - 05:59 PM
Barry Finn 21 Jan 09 - 03:59 PM
matt milton 21 Jan 09 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 21 Jan 09 - 08:08 AM
Effsee 19 Jan 09 - 12:07 PM
Mr Red 19 Jan 09 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 18 Jan 09 - 03:41 PM
Kampervan 18 Jan 09 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 18 Jan 09 - 02:40 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 08 - 12:00 PM
Folknacious 21 Dec 08 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Gueat : Norman (can't log in) 21 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,toodamnbad 21 Dec 08 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,toodamnwhite 21 Dec 08 - 01:44 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 08 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,Jeff 14 Feb 08 - 07:22 PM
Murray MacLeod 14 Feb 08 - 06:02 PM
Cool Beans 14 Feb 08 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Jeff 14 Feb 08 - 02:13 AM
Cool Beans 13 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM
stallion 13 Feb 08 - 01:48 PM
21st Century Bluesman 13 Feb 08 - 07:09 AM
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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:58 PM

Matt Milton wrote:-

"The music of Brixton-based bluesman Duke Garwood is to my ears much more blues than the majority of blues music being made today in any nation. I doubt more than 40 people in the US have heard of him. So what? His music still sounds like his music."

No surprise then that Seasick Steve asked Duke to support him on one of his tours in 2008, and to perform the same role on a recent gig in Paris. Steve dubbed him a "deep machine"!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 04:27 PM

Little Toby Walker, anyone?

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: NormanD
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:59 AM

Or East Dulwich-based Big Joe Louis, I think the same applies (I'm sure you know him, Matt).

Extending it a little, how many Black American jazz and blues players found recognition - and a chance to earn a living - outside the USA? There were plenty who couldn't get a break in their homeland, but got gigs and record deals (and decent royalty payments) on European labels in the 60's.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:21 AM

Or, to put it another way...

The music of Brixton-based bluesman Duke Garwood is to my ears much more blues than the majority of blues music being made today in any nation. I doubt more than 40 people in the US have heard of him. So what? His music still sounds like his music.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:18 AM

The original question is based on a kind of funny premise: the assumption that someone making good, authentic blues would by default be recognized, championed and "big" in the USA, where blues began. If the answer had been "yes, he's huge and all the fans of real, proper blues love him", would it really have made any difference?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 04:32 PM

I've felt all along that Steve is OK, a winning entertainer if not a virtuoso. The answer to the original question is that he's not at all "big" in the US ~ he's an American expatriate known pretty much only in Europe.

I'm sure that a lot of U.S. 'catters feel ~ like I do ~ that "I could do that." But, we haven't, and he has. More power to him.

Kevin's reference to Boxcar Willie is probably "spot-on."


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Strummin' Steve
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 04:16 PM

He's a communicator,that's it. It's not about musical ability,it's what you do with the notes you play. Steve but not seasick.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 04:58 PM

Just saw the Reading concert- I thought it was fun. If he is self promoting... so what? I like the music and I liked the show.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 09:54 AM

I saw his show at Reading on BBC4, and thought it looked like a rollicking good time was had by all.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 09:09 AM

He rather reminds me of Boxcar Willie:

Boxcar Willie was perhaps the most successful invented character in the history of country music. With his kitschy persona and stage act -- highlighted by his amazingly accurate impersonation of a train whistle -- Willie played into the stereotype of the lovable, good-natured hobo who spent his life riding the rails and singing songs. Since his popularity had more to do with his image than his music, it makes sense that he was massively successful in England, where he personified Americana...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 07:17 AM

And therein lies the problem with the English folk scene..yes, it is too damned precious. Technically superior though Martin may be can we quite see him playing to a packed house of young people at Reading festival?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: NormanD
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 09:44 AM

If you go with blues back to its origins, it was there as an entertainment. The acoustic guitar players would have to play damn loud to get the sound across in a crowded, noisy bar, and shout like the devil too, by many accounts. I bet they never sat there being admired for their intricate playing.

As someone says above, you can't compare apples with oranges. Nothing should exclude anything else. If we don't like something or someone, that's fine - but we should stop being so precious!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 06:23 AM

"It's all an act" - there it is in a nutshell!

Barry


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 03:21 PM

'What irritates me is the fact that Martin Simpson is so much better at slide guitar than Seasick, and yet I don't see the BBC giving Martin the airtime that they give to Seasick. Ridiculous!'

Try signing up for one of Kevin Brown's fabulous slide guitar seminars at Bath this summer. Kevin is an astonishing slide player - whilst Martin has a few interesting bits and pieces - Kevin has made slide guitar HIS thing. Not only that - he always has someone with him - who is a revelation as a slide player. invariably someone whose name is fairly unknown but absolutely walks on water as a slide player - Bryn Haworth was the course tutor - the year I went.

Kevin though - what can one say - his choice of instrument, his commitment as a teacher and musician to slide playing are unparalleled in England. awesome!

Try checking out also Scott Ainslie's amazing video about Robert Johnson.

You could add Michael Messer to the list.

however its not really about the nuts and bolts of musicianship. Its about charisma. its about performance ability. About having an act that sweeps away a huge roomful of people, and takes them with you - dancing, whooping, stopmping and hollering, and then being able to take it down, and then accelerate the mood at will.

rather reminiscent of the way that Christy Moore can do.

In short SS's music is vital, original and has thought out strategies and goes places the other guys have never bothered about - and quite frankly its stuff you're unlikely to learn learn in the mainly effete world of english folkmusic.

i have measureless respect for martin Simpson, but lack of tv exposure is not the reason that seasick Steve is a bigger draw.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 12:47 PM

Agree 100% with WLD and Banjiman - I'd say he's an outstanding rhythmic blues player - this has become one of my favorite boogies: Cut my wings

If that means "I don't really know the blues" I don't care!

Pete


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 11:33 AM

Often the way, isn't it? However, it's a little like comparing apples and oranges - SS is primarily a showman and entertainer - MS is a guitarist's guitarist. At the moment, apples are the flavour of the month at the BBC...


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 11:24 AM

What irritates me is the fact that Martin Simpson is so much better at slide guitar than Seasick, and yet I don't see the BBC giving Martin the airtime that they give to Seasick. Ridiculous!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Banjiman
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 06:29 AM

Only seen/ heard bits & peices of him previously. Enjoyed his music and persona on BBC4 last night. Enjoyed a lot of last night on BBC4 actually, plenty of blues and Old Time....excellent.

Should give us all hope that a guy in his 60's can get a break!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 08:55 PM

Saw the show. Some of the performers were good.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 08:31 PM

he can handle a guitar - not just bash it. A fabulous rhythmic player.

you don't get expertise/originality like that with much less than 20 years hard work.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Alice
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 08:09 PM

Never heard of him.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Fortunato
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 07:56 PM

who?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 07:27 PM

He did a great bit of entertaining at the Barbican, and can really get on with an audience. I enjoyed his fun but.... I'd never swap a single Blind Willie McTell track for any or all of his stuff.
All down to taste, I suppose.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 06:13 PM

I've just finished watching the BBC4 show. Steve was excellent. I can't imagine why he's being singled out for criticism in this way. He's what you might call a showman and, like it or not, folk music is a part of showbusiness.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 04:12 PM

You took the words from me, WF - he had a huge crowd, all clearly enjoying him and having the time of their lives. (Notice how young they were?) I like to see music giving people fun and exuberant joy, even when it's not particularly my thing. You can't argue with that - and he's clearly a success at it.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 04:01 PM

Just watched him on BBC4 - certainly knows how to put it across and get the crowd going. Wouldn't care to see too much of him (a little samey overall) but good luck to the man if he can make it... certainly a lively event.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 03:49 PM

Just watching him on TV now - I think he's bloody good.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: NormanD
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:09 PM

I am assuming that most of the people on this thread who have never heard of SSS, or compare him unfavourably with other contemporary players, are American. As far as I know he hasn't played the USA in years, or since he started releasing blues albums. Most of those who seem to like him may have seen him live, probably because they live in the UK or Europe.

I have seen him a few times now, most recently last night at The Barbican in London. He was compering an evening of Americana music - hokum blues, creole, bluegrass,etc - extracts of which will be broadcast on BBC4 tv this Friday evening. He also played, and he was damned good. My one comment is that the image he has may detract from the music, but he is no gimmick. Shave him, put him in a suit and tie, and he'd still be just as powerful and entertaining.

The best thing about this thread so far is the number of recommendations of other good players whom I'd possibly never hear of otherwise.

As for this apparent bitterness about his success, all I can say is: live with it, or get over it. He's good, he's here, and he's encouraging a hell of a lot of younger people to start listening to raw and rocking blues. If he's making other players sweat, or get jealous, well, that's good too. Blues music is all too often pronounced dead, or dying, and then the corpse gets up and starts dancing around and shows that it's still full of life - - and enjoying itself!


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Kampervan
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 05:59 PM

I think that you maybe over-estimate the effect that this thread might have on someone's career Barry.

Anyway, it's an interesting talking point, and the question of the triumph of opportunity over talent (or not) has always been relevant.

Also, compared to most threads, it's been remarkably well mannered and has kept pretty well on topic!!

Or does that mean that it just got boring?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 03:59 PM

Not that I follow the blues much anymore but I do still keep an ear tuned for what's out there & I can say ever since this thread started 2 yrs ago the name Seasick Steve would've grabbed my ear. I have never heard of him outside of this thread & I've followed the blues since I was 15 that more than an impressive 40 yrs that I haven't heard of Steve & from what I have listened to on U-tube I wouldn't care if it was another 40 yrs more that I don't hear from him.
By this thread you are giving free PR to a guy that has a gimmick rather than a unique talant or ability. Discuss someone who's worth your time & effort & who has given the blues a bit more than just a shine.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: matt milton
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 09:08 AM

Anyone here got love for Samuel James?

As in:
http://www.myspace.com/sugarsmallhouse


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 08:08 AM

Ta

refresh


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Effsee
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:07 PM

BBC4, Friday 23rd January....
starts 7.30 pm with the original series of The Transatlantic Sessions,
8.00 pm Seasick Steve documentary,
8.30 SS at Reading 2008, 9.00 Folk America,
10.00 Folk America at the Barbican,
11.00- 11.55 Desperate Man Blues, profile of Joe Bussard.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:10 AM

The BBC are broadcasting an American night on BBC4 ever so soon. He figures pretty well in the suite of programmes. If it has past - I have it on PVR to view. What I have heard of the man playing and singing doesn't make me rush to see/hear him, but that is a stylistic preferrence rather than a value judgement.

And a man in his 60's! Do we want him to still sleep rough, just for his art?
Let he who is without home cast the first sleeping bag.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:41 PM

There was an article about him in The Times today. His Norwegian wife of 25+ years is a chartered accountant, and he has done several jobs, including lounge-bar singer, shoe salesman, construction worker, waiter, paramedic, and owner of a recording studio in Seattle, one that used old tube amps other people were throwing away. He has nothing to do with homeless people, last slept rough 35 years ago and last busked on the streets for money in 1984. According to the article.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Kampervan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:28 PM

Come on guys, this is a person that you are talking about here.

If he's lived in Scandinavia for a while - so what?.

Is he responsible for every line of PR that's put about?

For every star we all konw someone better but who never got the breaks.

Leave the guy alone, if he does well out of it, be he good or bad, just say well done, and try to up the profile of your own particular hero.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 02:40 PM

Toodamnwhite. Please name just a couple of dozen of these 'thousands' of artists in the US who are more talented and original than Seasick Steve. I have a blues radio show and want to play them. They must be unbelievably good to be ten times better than Seasick Steve. Actually, there you have it. I don't believe you.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:00 PM

"Whatever happened to Box Car Willie"............

I think they can cure it now.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Folknacious
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 09:20 AM

Whatever happened to Box Car Willie?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Gueat : Norman (can't log in)
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM

"There are thousands of people here who have ten times the talent and originality as this guy"

Are we back to this one again? This argument has a beard that's longer than Sea Sick Steven's. I do wish you'd just come to terms with the fact that someone is getting some recognition outside his own homeland.

And you never heard of him first.

But WE did.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,toodamnbad
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 02:15 AM

Ah. But what's in a name . . . ?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,toodamnwhite
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 01:44 AM

You Europeans are so starved for "authentic" American anything...in this case authentic recycled swamp gas, that we sent him to you to get him off the goddamn corner so as to keep the space clear for something original..and he's been living fat in Scandinavia and selling that grizzled old hobo rubbish ever since. There are thousands of people here who have ten times the talent and originality as this guy.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 08:55 PM

Well, I`m just back from a Seasick Steve gig at Rock City Nottingham, UK, and no matter if he`s the real deal or not,it was a stunning gig.

First time I`ve seen him with any backing - drummmer, washboard player, and he doesn`t need backing musicians - except that when they went at fullspeed, he reminded me of Cream - but with a far better guitar player than Mr Clapton.

Novely act? maybe, well sd were the Beatles to me.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 07:22 PM

Agreed, Murray. I stand corrected. Was simply trying to make a correlation in the difference between a 'novelty act' and a respected recording artist. Shouldn't have left him off the list. Haven't heard from him in a while. Had the pleasure of seeing the Johnny Winter And tour w/Rick Derringer. J. Geils Band was the opener. Johnny & Co played for 3 hours w/an acoustic set in the middle...I think I'm still recovering from that show. Also, saw Edgar Winter w/Ronnie Montrose and Dan Hartman...I think the drummer was Mitch Mitchell open for Humble Pie w/Steve Mariott and Peter Framton. OOPS, I digressed, sorry.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 06:02 PM

...is he 'the real deal' ala SRV, Beck, Clapton ...


there is only one "real deal" when we are talking about white electric blues players, and that is Johnny Winter.

SRV , Beck , Clapton, supremely talented, but not quite the real deal when lined up against the albino Texan imo.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 11:41 AM

As a blues nickname Seasick lacks the gravitas of, say, Blind or Pegleg. You can't do much about the latter conditions but you could maybe stay away from boats and alleviate the former.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 02:13 AM

He's not particularly well known here in the states. Doubt he's be a sell out in any clubs. Someone may bring him over as an opening act and he could gain a following that way. Or get picked up by the William Morris Agency and get on some of the late night talk shows. As I said in an earlier post he's entitled to make a living and he's, obviously done his homework. He's being successful and has a machine running on all cylinders. Good for him. The 'three string guitar' thing has gotten him attention, but utimately one has to deliver the goods in a sustained performance. Apparently, from some of the posts he's been doing that. So, is he 'the real deal' ala SRV, Beck, Clapton, Hound Dog Taylor, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, etc.? If he produces a strong body of work over a period of time...why not?


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM

Never heard of Mr. Steve here in Detroit. I actually know Paul Geremia, though. I even have his first LP.


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: stallion
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 01:48 PM

wasn't having a pop, he was entertaining and I am no purist I live in a glass house as well! sigh


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Subject: RE: Seasick Steve - how big in the US?
From: 21st Century Bluesman
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 07:09 AM

Don't any of you folk who slag off, or at the very least, damn Steve with faint praise give a hoot for charisma and presentational skills? This is a man who can literally single-handedly keep an audience of 2,000 in thrall with a mixture ranging from raw, punky blues-rock to gentle, subtle acoustic slide, spiced with great jokes and captivating stories. Go and see him live, please don't simply make banal statements about being able to play as well as him on the back of seeing a couple of Youtube vids. Have you got a myspace site, Stallion, where I can see or hear your skills?

There are many Steve songs which will live on. I hope Georgie P's do too.

Finally, I would wager that when most people see a Paul Geremia they say - 'Yes, nice guitar-playing'. When they see a Seasick Steve a large proportion think - 'Wow!'


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