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Steven Gene Wold (born 1940/1941),[1] commonly known as Seasick Steve, is an American blues musician. He plays mostly personalized guitars and sings, usually about his early life doing casual work.[3]

Contents

1 Life and career

1.1 Childhood and early life 1.2 Adult life and early musical career 1.3 Breakthrough and subsequent career 1.4 Disputed biographical claims

2 Musical equipment

2.1 Guitars

2.1.1 The Three-String Trance Wonder 2.1.2 Hubcap
Hubcap
guitars

2.2 Other

2.2.1 The Mississippi
Mississippi
Drum Machine 2.2.2 Roland CUBE 2.2.3 Fender Bassman

3 Nickname 4 Personal life 5 Discography 6 Backing band 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Life and career[edit] Childhood and early life[edit] Wold was born in Oakland, California.[4] When he was four years old, his parents split up. His father played boogie-woogie piano and Wold tried to learn when he was five or six, without success. At the age of eight, he was taught to play the guitar by K. C. Douglas, who worked at his grandfather's garage, and later realised that he had been taught the blues.[5] Douglas wrote the song "Mercury Blues" and had played with Tommy Johnson in the early 1940s.[6] In 2000 Wold gave his age as 50,[7] Wold left home at 13 to avoid abuse at the hands of his stepfather, and lived rough and on the road in Tennessee, Mississippi and elsewhere, until 1973.[4][8] He would travel long distances by hopping freight trains, looking for work as a farm laborer or in other seasonal jobs, often living as a hobo.[5][9] At various times, Wold worked at a carnival, as a cowboy and as a migrant worker. Wold described this time of his life by saying "Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three."[10] Adult life and early musical career[edit] In the 1960s, Wold started touring and performing with fellow blues musicians, and had friends in the music scene including Joni Mitchell.[8] He spent time living in San Francisco.[11] Since then, he has worked, on and off, as a session musician and studio engineer. In the late 1980s, while living in Olympia, near Seattle, he worked with many indie label artists.[8] In the 1990s he continued to work as a recording engineer and producer, producing several releases by Modest Mouse[12] including their 1996 debut album This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. At one time, living in Paris, Wold made his living busking, mostly on the metro.[13] After moving to Norway
Norway
in 2001, Wold released his first album, entitled Cheap, recorded with The Level Devils as his rhythm section, with Jo Husmo on stand-up bass and Kai Christoffersen on drums. His debut solo album, Dog House Music
Dog House Music
was released by Bronzerat Records on November 26, 2006, after he was championed by an old friend, Joe Cushley, DJ on the Balling The Jack blues show on London radio station Resonance FM. Breakthrough and subsequent career[edit]

Wold performing in 2009 at the Hard Rock Calling
Hard Rock Calling
festival in London's Hyde Park

Wold made his first UK television appearance on Jools Holland's annual Hootenanny BBC
BBC
TV show on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
2006. He performed a live rendition of "Dog House Boogie" on the "Three String Trance Wonder" and the " Mississippi
Mississippi
Drum Machine". After that show his popularity exploded in Britain, and he commented "I can't believe it, all of the sudden I'm like the cat's meow!"[9] He was well received in the UK, winning the 2007 MOJO Award for Best Breakthrough Act and going on to appear at major UK festivals such as Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury. In 2007 he played more UK festivals than any other artist. Wold toured early in 2008, playing in various venues and festivals in the UK. He was joined on stage by drummer Dan Magnusson. KT Tunstall also dueted with Wold at the London Astoria in January 2008.[14] Wold also played many other festivals throughout the world in 2008, including Fuji Rock
Fuji Rock
in Japan, East Coast Blues
Blues
& Roots Music Festival in Australia, also in April 2008,[15] and Roskilde in Denmark.[16] Wold's major-label debut, I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left was recorded with Dan Magnusson on drums, was released by Warner Music
Warner Music
on September 29, 2008, and features Ruby Turner
Ruby Turner
and Nick Cave's Grinderman.[17] He has toured the UK extensively since 2007 being supported by Duke Garwood, Gemma Ray, The Sugars, Billie the Vision and the Dancers in January 2008, Amy LaVere
Amy LaVere
in October 2008, Melody Nelson
Melody Nelson
at the Brighton Dome on 7 October, and Joe Gideon & The Shark in January 2009. His tours in October 2008 and January 2009 were all sold out and included performances at the Royal Albert Hall, the Edinburgh Queen's Hall, the Grand Opera House in Belfast, the Apollo in Manchester, the City Hall in Newcastle and the London Hammersmith Apollo.[18][19][20] In 2009, Wold was nominated for a Brit Award
Brit Award
in the category of International Solo Male Artist,[21] That same year, BBC Four
BBC Four
broadcast a documentary of Wold visiting the southern USA entitled Seasick Steve: Bringing It All Back Home.[22] On January 21, Wold hosted "Folk America: Hollerers, Stompers and Old Time Ramblers" at the Barbican in London, a show that was also televised and shown with the documentary on BBC Four
BBC Four
as part of a series tracing American roots music.[23][24] In an interview with an Australian magazine, Wold attributed much of his unlikely success to his cheap and weather-beaten guitar, "The Trance Wonder" and reveals the guitar's mojo might come from supernatural sources.

"I got it from Sherman, who is a friend of mine down in Mississippi, who had bought it down at a Goodwill store. When we were down there last time he says to me, 'I didn't tell you when you bought it off me, but that guitar used to be haunted'. I say, 'What are you talking about, Sherman?'. He says, 'There’s 50 solid citizens here in Como who'll tell you this guitar is haunted. It's the darnedest thing – we’d leave it over in the potato barn and we'd come back in and it would be moved. You'd put it down somewhere and the next morning you’d come back and it would have moved. When you took that guitar the ghost in the barn left'. He told me this not very long ago and I said to him, 'Sherman! Why didn't you tell me this before?' and he said, 'Well the ghost was gone – I didn't want it around here no more!'"[25]

On January 3, 2010, Wold appeared on the popular BBC
BBC
motoring show Top Gear as the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car.[26] In February 2010, Wold was nominated for a Brit Award
Brit Award
in the category of International Solo Male Artist for the second consecutive year.[21] In 2010, Wold made numerous festival appearances throughout the summer, including the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival,[27] the main stage at V Festival,[28] the main stage at the Hop Farm Festival and many more.[29] In February 2011, Wold signed to Play It Again Sam to release his new album with the exception of the US, where it will be released on Third Man Records. Subsequently his new album You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks was released on his new labels and it was announced that former Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
bassist John Paul Jones had played on the new album, and performed alongside Wold to promote it.[30] This caused some to believe that he will tour with Wold as a part of his backing band, joining his then-current drummer Dan.[citation needed] John Paul Jones did indeed appear onstage to play with Wold at the Isle of Wight 2011 festival[31] and on the main stage of Rock Werchter 2011.[32] On 16 August 2014 he was the headline act at Beautiful Days in Honiton, Devon, UK, and on the 24th August he headlined at 'Victorious Festival' in Southsea, Portsmouth, UK. Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
released his eighth album on October 7, 2016, called Keepin' the Horse Between Me and the Ground. Disputed biographical claims[edit] In 2016, The Guardian
The Guardian
published an article casting doubts on some elements of Seasick Steve's autobiographical claims. According to claims originally published in an unauthorized biography, he was actually born in 1951, not 1941, and was previously known as Steve Leach before his marriage in 1982, and played with several bands in the 1970s including Shanti and Crystal Glass. [33][34] Musical equipment[edit]

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Wold owns and plays several obscure and personalized instruments. Guitars[edit] The Three-String Trance Wonder[edit] This is a normal guitar that resembles a GHI Guitar made in Japan in the 1960s. It has a 1950s Harmony pickup added with duct tape, and is tuned to G, G, and B (middle G is one octave higher than the bottom). This is how to set it up: Remove the low E string, put about a .049 string in the A string position tuned to G, remove the D string, put about a .028 string tuned to G in the G string position, put about a .018 string tuned to B in the B position, and remove the high E string.[35] He was given the guitar by a friend who had it nailed to his wall as a decoration,[8] but at his gigs, he often tells the story that he bought it for US$75 in this condition from a man who later told him he only paid US$25 for it the day before, and claims to have vowed never to add another string, and that he would tour the world telling his story of how the seller ripped him off.[9] A lot of the time he also adds, while picking up or putting away the guitar, that it is the "biggest piece of shit in the world, I swear."[citation needed] In a BBC
BBC
interview Wold claimed that the guitar was found by a friend, just with the three strings on it, and he decided to keep it that way. Hubcap
Hubcap
guitars[edit] When on the TV show Top Gear, presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
commented that Wold's car history of over 100 cars included a Morris Minor. Wold then presented a four-string guitar that his friend Davey Chivers had made out of two old hubcaps from a Minor 1000 joined back-to-back and his wife's broomstick. Wold then played it a little in the episode. Clarkson replied that it was the best use of a Morris Minor
Morris Minor
he had ever seen. A similar guitar was made out of Hudson Terraplane
Terraplane
hubcaps, one of them given to him by Jack White,[36][37] referring to "Terraplane Blues" by Robert Johnson. Other[edit] The Mississippi
Mississippi
Drum Machine[edit] A small wooden box that is stomped upon, providing percussion. It is decorated with a Mississippi
Mississippi
motorcycle registration plate ("MC33583"), and a small piece of carpet.[8] Roland CUBE[edit] A Roland CUBE
Roland CUBE
30 W amplifier placed on a chair to his left and set to the 'tweed' setting.[38] Fender Bassman[edit] A Fender Bassman
Fender Bassman
amplifier, used at the Pinkpop Festival
Pinkpop Festival
2012.[39] Nickname[edit] When asked about his nickname, Wold has said: "because it's just true: I always get seasick". When he was ill on a ferry from Norway
Norway
to Copenhagen, later in his life, a friend began playfully using the name and, despite Wold not rising to it for a while, it stuck. When asked about his name on British Sunday morning television show, Something for the Weekend, he replied, "I just get sick on boats".[5][40][41] Personal life[edit] Wold has five adult sons,[8] and has married twice, marrying his second wife in the early 1980s.[8] Wold has said that he has problems putting down roots in one place, and he and his wife have lived in 59 houses to date, including Norway
Norway
and the United Kingdom.[8] Wold's son Didrik is an illustrator, and has designed his father's album artwork, merchandise, print ads, and websites.[42] His youngest son, Paul Martin Wold, played drums on Dog House Music
Dog House Music
and first made a guest appearance with him on percussion at the Astoria in January 2008.[citation needed] He has since performed with Wold frequently, playing washboard, shakers, tambourine, floor tom and occasionally guitar. He also works as Steve's guitar-tech. Paul Martin Wold, aka "Wishful Thinking", released his debut album A Waste of Time Well Spent on November 2, 2009, and showcased a selection from the album whilst touring the UK with his father.[43] Discography[edit] Main article: Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
discography

Albums

Cheap (2004) Dog House Music
Dog House Music
(2006) I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left
I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left
(2008) Man from Another Time
Man from Another Time
(2009) You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
(2011) Hubcap
Hubcap
Music (2013) Sonic Soul Surfer
Sonic Soul Surfer
(2015) Keepin' the Horse Between Me and the Ground
Keepin' the Horse Between Me and the Ground
(2016)

Backing band[edit]

Current members

Dan Magnusson – drums, percussion (2008–present)[44] John Paul Jones – bass guitar (2011–present)[30]

Former members, as "The Level Devils"

Jo Husmo – bass guitar (2001–?) Kai Christoffersen – drums, percussion (2001–2004) Dan Magnusson – drums, percussion (2004–06) [45]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

^ a b McNair, James (2013-04-26). "Seasick Steve: I'll keep playing till the wheels fall off". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 September 2013.  ^ Hopkin, Kenyon. Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
at AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2015. ^ Op de Beeck, Geert (2007-02-16). "Humo's Pop Poll de Luxe: goed gerief van Seasick Steve". HUMO
HUMO
NR 3467. p. 158.  (in Dutch) ^ a b “”. "Last Po'man — performance intro". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-27. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ a b c Interview on The Paul O'Grady Show on YouTube
YouTube
15 Oct 2008 ^ Harris, S (1989). Blues
Blues
Who’s Who, 5th paperback edition. New York, Da Capo Press, pp. 160-161 ^ Levin, Rick. "Reluctant Icon".  ^ a b c d e f g h O'Hagan, Sean (2008-09-14). "Only a Hobo". London: The Observer.  ^ a b c Op de Beeck, p. 159 ^ On the BBC Four
BBC Four
documentary Seasick Steve: Bringing It All Back Home ^ "Ikke skremt av novemberværet". 13 November 2000.  ^ Op de Beeck, pp. 159-160 ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
flouts Tube alcohol ban". Irish News. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2009-03-11.  ^ Raucous night of hobo blues Archived January 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. This is London, 25 Jan 2008 ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
Returns to Australia This April — Music News, Reviews, Interviews and Culture". Music Feeds. 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
Tour Dates and Concert Tickets". Bandsintown.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ Andrew Perry (2008-09-27). " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
— I Started Out With Nothin' and I Still Got Most of It Left: pop CD of the week review". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ 21 January 2009 by Rich Thane (2009-01-21). "Joe Gideon & The Shark album news, tour with Seasick Steve". The Line Of Best Fit. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
Opens UK Tour With KT Tunstall
KT Tunstall
As Guest". Gigwise. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
/ Billy The Vision And The Dancers — Leeds Metropolitan University on Thursday 31 January 2008". eGigs.co.uk. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ a b [1] Archived April 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Four Programmes — Seasick Steve: Bringing It All Back Home". BBC. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ "Voice of the people". New Statesman. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ "Folk America — Documentary Series". BBC. 2000-12-31. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ [2] Archived September 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Top Gear — Home". BBC. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ "Glastonbury Festivals — Line-up". 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2010-06-26.  ^ "Line Up". Vfestival.com. Retrieved 2011-12-30.  ^ "2010 Summer Festival Photo Diary". Seasicksteve.com. Retrieved 2011-12-30.  ^ a b "Later with Jools Holland
Jools Holland
- Latest show information and exclusive performances filmed for the web". BBC. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-12-30.  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
- Interview on BBC
BBC
Breakfast". BBC. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-08.  ^ "Rock Werchter announcement - John Paul Jones to join Seasick Steve on stage". Retrieved 2011-07-07.  ^ Stanley, Bob (29 September 2016). "How Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
turned out to be Session Man Steve". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2016.  ^ "He may be a fraud but Seasick Steve's brilliant Wembley show silenced his booing critics - review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2018-03-30.  ^ Speal, Shane. "How to Set Up a Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
3-String Guitar".  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
performs at Bluesfest". Sunshine Coast Daily. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2015-11-03.  ^ "Seasick Steve: Interview". Gigwise. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2015-11-03.  ^ " Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
and the Cube-30X amp". Dolphinmusic.com. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2010-08-27.  ^ Video on YouTube ^ Op de Beeck, pp. 158-9 ^ "Miquita interview". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-27.  ^ "new album "Man From Another Time" out now! news". Seasick Steve. 2009-10-18. Archived from the original on 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ "Wishful Thinking tours with Seasick Steve". Whisperinandhollerin.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03.  ^ "Album review: Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
- Review". Uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-30.  ^ "themonkalways: Seasick STEVE and The Level Devils - Cheap 2004". Themonkalways.blogspot.co.uk. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 

External links[edit]

Official website Seasick Steve's channel on YouTube Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
interview at musicOMH Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
interview at Blues
Blues
In London Record Label — Bronzerat recordings

v t e

Seasick Steve

Studio albums

Cheap (2004) Dog House Music
Dog House Music
(2006) I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left
I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left
(2008) Man from Another Time
Man from Another Time
(2009) You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks (2011) Hubcap
Hubcap
Music (2013) Sonic Soul Surfer
Sonic Soul Surfer
(2015)

Compilation albums

Songs for Elisabeth (2010) Walkin' Man - The Best of Seasick Steve
Seasick Steve
(2011)

Extended Plays

It's All Good (2008)

Related articles

Discography Modest Mouse Bronzerat Records Warner Bros. Records Atlantic Records

v t e

Modest Mouse

Isaac Brock Jeremiah Green Tom Peloso Jim Fairchild Russell Higbee Lisa Molinaro

Dann Gallucci Eric Judy Joe Plummer Johnny Marr Benjamin Weikel John Wickhart

Studio albums

This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About The Lonesome Crowded West The Moon & Antarctica Good News for People Who Love Bad News We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank Strangers to Ourselves

EPs

Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect? Interstate 8 The Fruit That Ate Itself Night on the Sun Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks No One's First, and You're Next

Other albums

Building Nothing Out of Something Sad Sappy Sucker Baron von Bullshit Rides Again

Singles

"A Life of Arctic Sounds" "Other People's Lives" "Never Ending Math Equation" "Float On" "Ocean Breathes Salty" "The World at Large" "Dashboard" "King Rat" "Missed the Boat" "We've Got Everything" "Satellite Skin" "Lampshades on Fire" "The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box"

Labels

Epic Records K Records Sub Pop Suicide Squeeze Records Up Records

Related

Discography Dirty Dozen Brass Band Seasick Steve Ugly Casanova

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 79227885 LCCN: no2010061360 ISNI: 0000 0000 8013 0067 GND: 138217661 BNF: cb15967764h (data) BIBSYS: 7020995 MusicBrainz: 231ff972-4e8e-4157

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