Album review: Seasick Steve, You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

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Like Bob Dylan, Steven Gene Wold won't see 70 again, but unlike Robert Zimmerman, his career only blossomed in a musical Indian summer.

This fifth album is a triumph of randomness – there are collaborations with Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, cover art featuring a geriatric Welsh black Labrador, and searing slide guitar from any one of his bewildering array of custom-built instruments.

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The opening Treasures is a parched beauty straight out of the Americana dustbowl, the closing It's A Long Long Way a spirited singalong that seizes the moment.

But what Seasick does best is to rip it up with that gnarled old heads-down, no-nonsense boogie. The title track is a ferocious stomp featuring a guitar he made out of two Morris Minor hub caps. Burnin' Up is a smouldering blues workout in the Muddy Waters style.

And this is why Steve is so loved; like the ancient mariner of the 12-bar, he embraces the heritage blues acts and all their bastard sons.

Download this: You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks, Back In The Doghouse

This article was first published in Scotland On Sunday, 29 May, 2011