Seasick Steve photoshoot at the BrokenSpoke in Austin, Texas on March 18th, 2011.

Started Out With Nothin’ ~ Seasick Steve

seasick-steveSteven Gene Wold, commonly known as Seasick Steve is an American bluesman, although he prefers to be called “a song and dance man”. He plays guitars (mostly personalized), and sings, usually about his early life living rough and doing casual work.

Wold was born in Oakland, California.When he was four years old, his parents split up. His father played boogie-woogie piano and at five or six years old Wold tried to learn but could not. At age eight, he learned to play the guitar (he later found out that it was blues) from K. C. Douglas, who worked at his grandfather’s garage.Douglas wrote the song “Mercury Blues” and used to play with Tommy Johnson. 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 or in other seasonal jobs, often living as a hobo. At various times, Wold worked as a carnie, cowboy and a migrant worker.

Of this time he once said:

“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 sixties he started touring and performing with fellow blues musicians, and had friends in the music scene including Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell. 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 artistsKurt Cobain was a friend. In the 1990s he continued to work as a recording engineer and producer, including producing several releases by Modest Mouse. 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. After moving to Norway in 2001, Wold released his first album, entitled “Cheap”, recorded with The Level Devils (Jo Husmo on stand-up bass and Kai Kristoffersen on drums) as his rhythm section. His debut solo album, “Dog House Music” was released by Bronzerat Records in November 2006, after he was championed by an old friend, Joe Cushley, DJ on the Ballin’ The Jack blues show on London radio station Resonance FM.

Started Out With Nothin’

Started Out With Nothin’ – Wold

I can’t lose what I never had
You can’t take what I ain’t got
When I’m happy, you won’t make me sad
Depending on you all
Well I’m not
Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left

When I’m down I just get up
When I’m down well I stand up
Been down many times well you know it’s true
Haven’t had a red dime between me and you

Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left
Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left
Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left

And if all fell apart today
I could just walk
Get on down the street
I ain’t worried where I’m going to sleep
I can always find some food to eat

Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left
Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left
Cause I started out with nothing
and I’ve still got most of it left

  • Audio from the 2008 album, Started Out With Nothin’:

started-out-with-nothin

Play Started Out With Nothing - by Seasick Steve

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