Out Friday May 11th, The One-Man Blues Rock Band is the first live album from multi-instrumentalist Steve Hill. The 14-track live recording was captured at La Chapelle, Quebec in November of last year at one of Hill’s headline shows. Punctuated by some impressive support slots, Hill’s headline roadshow has taken the French Canadian virtuoso all over North America, as well as across the Atlantic. And as a frequent visitor to the UK, Hill may be aware of the curious British idiom, “It does exactly what it says on the tin.” Without doubt, that phrase applies to this record. In short, it means there is zero ambiguity about what this album is. It’s blues rock. It’s live. And it all comes courtesy of one man – Steve Hill. Though, just how that’s physically possible is genuinely baffling. Because when opening track, “Rhythm All Over” kicks in, it legitimately sounds as if there is a full three-or-four-piece band backing Hill up.
The lyrics only strengthen Steve Hill’s one-man-band claim further, as he verbally directs himself through the steps of mastering perfect blues rhythm. “You start off with the left foot, the right one will follow,” he proclaims, as he thumps out the bass drum rhythm in isolation. He adds snare, cymbals and guitar, all courtesy of a different limb, until he resolves, “I got rhythm now, rhythm all over.” And by the name of Bonham, this guy has serious rhythm. So much so that a little fact checking was necessary to ensure Hill wasn’t somehow hiding a full band behind a curtain somewhere. As this live video from his set in Edinburgh last year confirms, that really is Hill doing everything himself – exactly what it says on the tin.Read More
STEVE HILL, the one-man blues rock machine, will release his new 14-track live album “The One-Man Blues Rock Band” on Manhaton Records in the UK on Friday 11th May 2018.
To support the release, Steve will tour the UK in May supporting King King and Danny Bryant.
Steve is the true definition of a one-man-band: he performs standing while he sings and plays guitar. He beats the bass drum with his feet, together with the snare and hi-hats, while the stick welded to his trusty guitar clouts anything within easy reach.
We described his recently released “Solo Recordings Volume 3” as “unfeigned, unadulterated, blues-rock excitement with enough skilled flick and tuck to suggest a lifetime of brilliance and dexterity…”Read More
Canadian musician Steve Hill could well be in the running to add another award to the JUNO and Maple Blues awards he already owns – for the most accurate, self-explanatory and straight to the musical point album title of the year.
That said while The One Man Blues Rock Band tells you all you need to know about Steve Hill and the solo performance you will find behind the cover, it can’t tell you how full-sounding Hill’s brand of one man blues is – until you hit play (unless of course you have seen and heard the musician perform, the good news being the album, recorded at La Chapelle in Quebec in November 2017, does a fine job of capturing the energy of Steve Hill live).
Steve Hill’s primary weapon for his raucous, riff-driven blues is his guitar, but an arsenal of surrounding instrumentation – bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, crash cymbal (the latter pair the recipients of a guitar head stick skewered with a maraca), an octave pedal hooked up to a bass amp (Hill’s guitar has an extra, offset pick-up to catch the three top strings) and a stereo output collectively showcase a one man band that sounds and plays like a hard hitting, blues rocking trio.Read More
There is no history to the overnight sensation, the back story, the will and the desire are rarely played upon, it is all very sudden and instant, the immediate that gives way to the soon forgotten, the very best are those that gradually come up through sheer hard work, determination and set back after disappointment, hard times after frustration. It is in the satisfaction of knowing for a while that you were your best friend, harshest critic and withstood the pressure of being the only one to believe that makes The One Man Blues Rock Band you pursued, all the more sweeter.
It would be fair to come across Steve Hill’s music and wonder where he has been all your life; this Canadian troubadour, award winning, one man collective appears out of nowhere it seems and serenades the listener with great songs and a mountain filled with experience, enough to cram into Lake Ontario, to satisfy a train carriage journey from Montreal to Vancouver and still have time for one last story in a café on the station concourse. It is in this immense life that Steve Hill opens up and the one man band is illuminated and coveted.Read More
A Manic Street Preachers gig might seem an odd place to start a review of a blues record, but the other week MV saw the Manics for the first time in almost two decades. Before the show they flashed up these words on the big screen: Everything is a memory, except this one moment and you’re struggling to remember what just happened.
Therein, actually, they’ve hit the nail on the head with regards to live albums.
I’ve got countless of them, the best, “Live And Dangerous”, “Live After Death” “Live In Hammersmith”, to pick just three, capture shows from before I was able to go to concerts myself, but all the ones I’ve bought since can’t – however good they are – bottle the moment. The moment when you know something special is going to happen at a truly great gig.
And yet, Steve Hill absolutely should release a live record, because he was born to do just that. Why? Well, the why comes in “The Collector” when he goes into something approaching a trance like state and intones “just give me the truth. Just give me something real.”Read More
Trois Rivieres native and guitar player extraordinaire Steve Hill is a busy guy. Following a very successful jaunt to Europe – Hill is home for a little bit before heading off to England and Germany once more.
It was while he was ‘home’ and doing a gig in the province of Quebec that Steve finally recorded a long awaited live album.
“The One-Man Blues Rock Band” is the name of the album and it was a project that Hill wanted to get right. Hence the nine studio album delay. A live album can be a tricky thing when work dictates reality and time is short.Read More
Steve Hill defines himself as a ‘one man blues rock band’ but, in reality, he’s more of a revelation. Over the years there have been many solo artists, but few who have taken the art of playing solo to such heights and, to listen to his latest live recording, you’d be easily forgiven for screaming “overdubs” from the moment the crunchy ‘damned’ detonates with bass guitar and drums all apparently intact but, check out the live show (or the handy video clip in this piece) and you’ll realise that he’s got it all figured out. A remarkable performer, Steve Hill has been nominated for (and won) many awards for the work he’s done over the years, most notably ‘solo recordings’ volumes 2 & 3 and, in just over a week, he returns to the UK to play a string of shows with Danny Bryant and King King. I had the pleasure of catching up with Steve, a relaxed and friendly interviewee, by phone and what follows is the complete discussion.Read More