I think “harmless romp” sums up this one.
What really struck me in reading it is how spoiled I’ve been by Al Reynolds and Banksie and all o’ them writing really odd yet fast-paced space opera. The level of detail in those novels is so striking in comparison to something like Galaxy Blues (which reads more like a Heinlein juvenile). Which isn’t to say that Galaxy Blues doesn’t have its charms.
Throughout Galaxy Blues, I kept having moments where I enjoyed what I was reading and then other moments where I was either waiting for something to happen (especially before the characters leave orbit) or thrown out by what seemed like an anachronism. For example, I know they’ll have baseball in the future, but with the world-building in the novel being cursory at best, such a recurring here-and-now cultural reference didn’t work for me. In fact, in general Steele seems to want to create an SF that doesn’t have much to do with the future. Whether it’s literally true or not, I felt as if I’d traveled back to the 1950s and was reading a story written during that era. This isn’t necessarily a criticism, but because of everything from New Space Opera to Doctorow-Tech, I had to ignore the SF elements and focus on the adventure and characters.