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Posted on L’homme à qui l’Europe a tendu les bras

S’il y a une justice en ce bas monde, Steve Hill décrochera le Félix de l’artiste s’étant le plus illustré à l’étranger, l’automne prochain. Lancé il y a six ans, son spectacle en solo a pris une dimension internationale dont l’ampleur l’étonne lui-même. L’Europe l’a adopté avec enthousiasme, en particulier l’Allemagne et l’Angleterre, où le blues-rock qu’il affectionne l’amène à tourner de plus en plus souvent, de plus en plus longtemps.

Juste l’an dernier, celui qui assume les rôles de chanteur, guitariste et batteur sur scène, simultanément, a donné 80 spectacles sur le vieux continent. Plus d’une trentaine ont eu lieu dans la patrie des Stones et de John Mayall, un nombre équivalent au nombre de fois où le Québécois a joué dans des villes allemandes. À cet élan initial se sont ajoutés d’autres rendez-vous, si bien qu’en 2018, il sera plus facile de le voir ailleurs que chez lui.

« J’avais un plan. Dès le troisième volume de ma série Solo Recordings, je pensais aller à l’international, sauf que ça se passe plus vite que je l’avais anticipé, notamment en Angleterre. Après mon premier spectacle là-bas, trois agents m’ont soumis une offre et j’y retournerai pendant tout le mois de mai », a raconté Steve Hill il y a quelques jours, à la faveur d’une entrevue téléphonique accordée au Progrès.

Tournée reportée

L’une des conséquences de la forte demande en Angleterre tient au report de la tournée provinciale que le musicien comptait effectuer en mai, laquelle comprenait une escale à la Salle Desjardins-Maria-Chapdelaine de Dolbeau-Mistassini (11 mai). « Je m’y rendrai à l’automne », annonce-t-il. En revanche, l’agenda n’a pas bougé en ce qui touche mars et avril. Il jouera donc à la Salle Calypso de Jonquière (8 mars), puis au Théâtre Banque Nationale de Chicoutimi (20 avril).

« En Europe, j’ai le même agent que Joe Bonamassa, le bluesman qui attire les plus grosses foules ces temps-ci. J’ai signé avec une compagnie de disques en Angleterre, ainsi qu’un nouveau promoteur en Allemagne. En plus, je jouis d’une bonne visibilité dans les médias », mentionne Steve Hill. À ces atouts, il faut ajouter l’expérience acquise en solo, le fait que l’artiste maîtrise pleinement le créneau qui est devenu le sien.

C’est devenu sa marque de commerce, un élément distinctif qui l’a incité à renoncer temporairement à son projet de former un groupe. « Je pensais à le faire, mais ils veulent que je continue seul parce que ça va bien en Europe », confie-t-il. C’est donc en mode one-man-band qu’il se produira aussi en Italie, en France et en Espagne, tout en apparaissant en juin, en Allemagne, au Crossroads Music Festival.

Cet événement rassemble 12 000 personnes et la prochaine édition sera marquée, justement, par la présence de Joe Bonamassa, que le Québécois n’a jamais rencontré. « Le fait de me ramasser là après 18 mois, c’est extraordinaire. Comme l’Angleterre, l’Allemagne constitue un super bon marché pour le blues-rock », fait-il observer.

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Posted on Fireworks Magazine – Solo Recordings : Volume 3 Review

Now here’s something! A literal one-man band and an artist steeped in the purest of music styles — the Blues! Steve Hill lays down some of the sweetest Rock ‘n’ Blues heard in some time! He performs solo and this man plays a razor-sharp style of guitar, and at the same time, lays down those pulsating beats from his assorted drum kit. All the while, that whiskey-soaked voice of his just floats above all that intense and textured music! He is also Canadian which naturally makes my heart sing a little louder!

As you can surmise, this is Hill’s third solo outing. ‘Solo Recordings: Volume 3’ was actually recorded and released last year, however, it’s only now seeing the light of day in the UK. It’s an album loaded with rockers, but never losing that rich and deep vein of Blues! Possessing not only an authentic voice that drips with the Blues, Hill is an indisputable guitar slinger and also plays a mean harmonica to boot! He is a seasoned twenty year veteran, one that has been involved in numerous recordings but has recently struck out literally on his own.

Since 2012 he has decided to play all the instruments, and sing each and every song — and all at the same time (if that sounds implausible, just take a peek at the latest album cover for proof)! His first solo outing, aptly titled ‘Solo Recordings: Volume 1’, garnered him Album Of The Year from the International Blues Challenge of 2013. In addition, Hill also won a Canadian Juno for his second solo effort! What will ‘Solo Recordings: Volume 3’ bring? Who knows, but it certainly is the proper one to launch this one-of-a-kind Blues Rocker into the global universe of music!

From heart-wrenching and Blues-soaked ballads to absolute all-out rockers, Steve Hill’s latest should touch the heart of millions of Blues lovers the world over!

Bruce E.J. Atkinson

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Posted on Review at The Ferry, Glasgow

I want to make one thing clear about Steve Hill before we go on to his unique selling point, or anything else: Musically he’s very, very good. It wouldn’t matter if this music was being played by a four piece band, a duo, or a big blues band. The songs are hard edged, prime blues/rock of the highest order; Hill’s guitar playing is sensational, and his voice is great – perfect for the style of music: expressive, gritty when it needs to be, softer when he wants. Added to those qualities, it seems that he’s also an excellent bass player, and a great drummer… in fact, it just so happens he’s all four of these things at the same time – and a laid back, charismatic showman to boot!

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Posted on Wishbone Ash/Steve Hill – The Jam House, Edinburgh

First a word about support act Steve Hill, who has been doing the rounds with Wishbone Ash throughout this tour.  The Canadian is singular for his efforts in delivering hard-hitting blues rock as a one-man band, managing to play kick drum, hi-hat, cymbal and god knows what else in addition to guitar and vocals.  Now that runs the risk of being seen as a novelty act – except that he somehow packs enough punch to blow away a hell of a lot bands you’ll come across.

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Posted on The Floral Pavilion New Brighton – Gig Review

From first bar to last, this was an evening of powerhouse rock at its very finest, with Montreal based, one-man-band Steve Hill performing on these shores for the very first time and cutting a yet deeper vein of popularity into the bargain.

Man can this guy play! In fact, during the Ballad of Johnny Wabo – a song he describes as being “as Canadian as you can get” – there’s a genuine fear he along with his plethora of guitars, drums and cymbals might spontaneously combust. The energy and drive of this consummate musician is simply incredible, all of which is underpinned with a deep, gravel-fuelled voice that would soothe the most rampant of bears out in the deepest of backwoods.

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Posted on Manchester Rocks Interview

It has been interesting watching Salford Quays evolve over the last 20 years, much like the way Steve Hill has evolved too, and tonight he played at The Lowry.  Not the main Lyric Theatre but the smaller and more intimate Quay Theatre where his performance gained him a standing ovation and at the bar afterwards several members of the audience were describing it as “astonishing”.  Not bad for someone who is undertaking his first full tour of this country and as a consequence the queue at his merch stall is constant as he signs autographs and sells his CD’s to new fans.

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Posted on Steve Hill at Leeds Town Hall Review

From playing in a British pub a few days ago to now playing such a large, grand venue like Leeds Town Hall with all its northern grandiosity and splendour, Steve Hill’s rise can only be described as stratospheric! The octopus-like one-man band is gone this evening but even stripped back to an acoustic guitar, harp and electronic foot drum it is surprising how much sound he can create.

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