Seasick Steve

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Steven Gene Wold (1941-Forever)

“I have 50 years of doing not very well so if I want to draw on experience, I can do it for the next 50 years”


Steven Gene Wold has gone through so much Blues that there really is little to no point in trying to dig it all up. In his own recollections, Seasick Steve avoided the topic of his early days a few times. It is possible that he had shared his unique story too many times, it is also possible that there still are sore spots, recalling which – brings no joy. To me it seems that there is no need to ask Steve about his life of struggle, he sings about it in most of his songs:

Being on the run for much of his life, wearing the same clothes for years, seeing how no one is interested in him, Seasick Steve developed strong emotional attachments to many basic things. Things that should be shown as an example to those who take many things in life for granted, take life itself for granted. His story is unique and can be divided into lessons of life to give out to different topics. A topic of survival, a topic of persistence, a topic of luck, a topic of “with a little help of my friends” and many more.

From not being seen by passers as if he did not exist, Seasick Steve got the popularity of the world and have gathered hundreds of thousands of people listening to him in the biggest venues like Albert Hall, Glastonbury and all other known festivals.  “Even if it ends, I already won beyond my wildest dreams” – Seasick Steve

I can’t compare the music which Seasick Steve plays to anything. I think he and Jack White’s friendship goes good together since their blues guitars are always on the edge of a cliff, tempting to jump off. Steve’s Blues instrument of choice is always roaring or wailing and making listeners jump out of their seats. I jump up and I’m just watching a recording. “I never use no computers on recording, it’s always tape because it sounds way better…and I don’t know how to use a computer.” – Seasick Steve


Three String Trance Wonder

It is a wonder of an instrument which I believe only has an A, G and high E strings. Steve calls it a “horrible” blues guitar but still a “friend” which he can’t let go because they’ve been together for so long.  “My instruments are real unpredictable. I don’t even know if they’re gonna last through the song sometime…sometimes they don’t.” – Seasick Steve


Seasick Steve to me is many things. A great guitarist, an inventor, a survivor, a “screw you all” type of man who I always wanted to be, an embodiment of Blues and appreciation. His is a Cinderella story for us guitarists who want to make it on stage, and for all other people who struggle in life. It is not going to be over until it is going to be over, and it’s not gonna be fair. Chances are we never seen half of what the man saw in his 50 years of travelling without a home and a peso in his pocket. I first heard this and knew that I wanted more:

To me, the story of Seasick Steve is an eye-opener. Not all is defined in black and white. A hobo can gather stadiums of loyal fans and appreciate the ability to walk down the street without being shot. I am guilty of judgment and comparison but quite often people who I deem to be inferior are in fact much better than me. Thank you Mr. Steve, I do wish you would live to share your experience for another 50 years and I do wish to hear your wisdom through words or music somewhere down the road.