Seasick Steve, "Man From Another Time"
Halfway through his fourth album, "Man From Another Time," Seasick Steve confesses that his "greatest fear before I die is to turn into a boring old fart." But that doesn't seem likely. With a globetrotting life story that plays like a John Steinbeck novel (or a John Ford movie) of redemption, the idiosyncratic 65-year-old troubadour (real name: Steve Gene Wold) returns to the United States following expatriate success in the United Kingdom. Full of blues and roots tracks, the new 13-song set lives up to its title. Steve channels the likes of John Lee Hooker ("That's All," "Seasick Boogie"), Bo Diddley ("Diddley Bo") and Son House ("My Home [Blue Eyes]," "Just Because I Can [CSX]"). And "The Banjo Song" is raw and dark enough to have fit on the "Cold Mountain" soundtrack. As plain-spoken a wordsmith as you'll find, Steve also sings about John Deere tractors ("Big Green and Yeller"), Dust Bowl blues ("Wenatchee"), jail yards and train cars with weathered credibility.