Seasick Steve - Walkin' Man: The Best of Seasick Steve (Deluxe Edition)
After this year's likeable studio effort, the ultimate (real) late starter receives the best-of accolade. After decades bumming about and a stint as a session man in the 60s folk scene, Seasick Steve finally found an audience when most people are ready for drawing their pension. You couldn't make it up. Armed with a distinctly charming performance manner, a bag of scuffed-up folk-blues compositions and home-made isntrumentation that makes Brian May's legendary 'fireplace axe' look like mass manufacture, crowds warmed to the dungaree-clad former hobo. And well they might. If at times the song titles suggest an almost ironic take on genre conventions ('I Don't Know Why She Loves Me But She Do'), the conviction behind the delivery erases any doubts.
It's a smart act he's coined - grizzled like a bear but tender, romantic and as accomplished as a raft of 'produced' artists, this collection is a convincing reminder of the man's easy appeal. The record company has seen fit to throw in a full concert live DVD which confirms not just their good tidings and seasonal wishes but, more importantly, their artist's effortless way with his audience. Recommended.