For Can U Cook?, Seaside Steve’s ninth and latest offering, he doesn’t wander too far off the path he’s trod down so many times before. It’s a reliable route of blues, rock, folk, Americana, and a decent smattering of swamp funk, not unlike an old Leon Russell album. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Across a baker’s dozen of seemingly nostalgic songs, the Oakland native manages to sidestep any current fads or trends in music, choosing to focus instead on a satisfyingly reliable mix that somehow manages to sound both refreshingly original and timelessly familiar at the same time.
A majority of this record was recorded in a converted ice house on a dock in Key West, which likely explains songs like “Hate Da Winter” and “Sun on My Face.” The last one, by the way, is a great, laid-back number that just screams out for a hammock and a beer. Elsewhere, the contemplative “Last Rodeo” is one of the best songs he’s ever written.
While a few of the tracks here tend to sound a little similar at times, there is enough variety in this record to appease just about any Seasick Steve acolyte.