Published Mar 25, 2015Late-blooming bluesman Seasick Steve has only been releasing records for a little under a decade, and despite being longer in the tooth than most six-string slingers in today's blues rock sphere, his main goal is still to "get on that stage and play you my very best show." That line, from groovy Sonic Soul Surfer opener "Roy's Gang," reassures listeners that the California native's desire to write and play is still very much alive, as he continues to ride the wave that took him from migrant to musician.
While his sixth studio album doesn't necessarily break any new ground within the genre, it's more about lateral movement as he surfs through the 12-track sonic sea of rock and folk. The energy runs high throughout the jumpy blues of "Bring It On" and "Summertime Boy," while the man shows off his gritty slide guitar chops for "Sonic Soul Boogie" and the roaring "Barracuda '68." The record's quieter moments give a welcome reprieve from the extended jamming, with "Right On Time," "Heart Full of Scars" and the slow-burning "Swamp Dog" giving the record some welcome balance. (Caroline International)