A reminder that the sound of an old man and an acoustic guitar can be just as exciting, moving and inspiring as any rock band, pop group or orchestra.»
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he may modestly refer to himself as 'a song and dance man' but american blues musician seasick steve is indisputably a living legend. his latest album, 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks', is released by play it again sam for the uk / europe and the rest of the world and on jack white's third man label in the usa. the twelve-track album, recorded through the fall of 2010, was produced by the dog hisself (seasick steve) and henry james wold and mixed by vance powell at air studios in london. the opening track, 'treasures', a dark, plaintive ballad is one of the great songs that johnny cash unfortunately never got to cover. if cash were still alive, he undoubtedly would have. the lyric depicts seasick, the extraordinary 'ordinary man', on the street looking through barred windows with a timely reminder that material possessions, which he does not covet, are merely fleeting 'treasures'. 'what a way to go' repeats the message; a man works for 25 years, looking forward to a life of ease and his pension, and then dies a month after he retires. "what was all that plannin' about," rhetorically asks seasick. the rest of 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks' maintains the same high standard. the slow, feverish 'burnin' up' ignites the lovesick spirit of john lee hooker, 'don't know why she love me but she do' gratifyingly shakes along to magnusson's drums and steve's overdriven 'cigar box guitar', 'have mercy on the lonely' is persuasive delta blues, while 'whiskey ballad', written by steve's son paul martin wold, offers an intoxicating medicinal glass of seasick moonshine.
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