Album: Seasick Steve, ...Songs for Elisabeth (Atlantic)

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The Independent Culture

It's a rum do when a sultry soul diva like Sade arouses less passion than a venerable, bewhiskered hobo like Seasick Steve, but such is apparently the case.

Steve's slide-guitar stomp-blues is virtually the diametric opposite of Sade's smooth elegance, but it's oddly more compellingly romantic on this seven-track mini-album packaged in greeting-card format specially for Valentine's Day. Six of the tracks are love songs lifted from Steve's four albums – although "Just Like A King", his duet with Nick Cave, sounds more like a couple of lascivious hounds on the prowl than a seduction, while the languid boogie "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" finds the hapless hobo failing to keep pace with his lover's vacillating moods. But elsewhere, it's the fealty and dedication espoused in "Walkin' Man" and "My Home" that carries such genuine romantic weight. Live performances have confirmed the former's heart-melting qualities, while the latter explains a man's refusal to make empty promises, over a slide-guitar groove almost as slippery as his rhetoric: "The night never promised the day, the rain never promised the sun, it just seemed to turn out that way; and just like that I'll be back when the day is done, 'cos my home is where your blue eyes are".

Download this Walkin' Man; My Home (Blue Eyes); Ready for Love; My Donny