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Steven Gene Wold (born in 1940 or 1941) commonly known as Seasick Steve, is an American blues musician who plays custom guitars, sometimes made from found materials such as dinner plates, broomsticks, hubcaps, duct tape, and washboards. He is popular in the UK where he is considered representative of American roots music.
Wold was born in Oakland, California and 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.
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. He would travel long distances by hopping freight trains, looking for work as a farm laborer and other seasonal occupations. 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.”
In the 1960s, Wold started touring and performing with fellow blues musicians. Since then, he has worked as a session musician and studio engineer. At one time, living in Paris, Wold made his living busking, mostly on the metro. In the 199os, Wold developed a strong following in Norway while still relatively unknown in the US. He has also been well received in the UK, winning the 2007 MOJO Award for Best Breakthrough Act.
Wold continues to tour and record in Europe and the US. His eighth album,”Keepin’ the Horse Between Me and the Ground,” was recently released.
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