Steve Hill‘s first live album has been two decades in the making – this year he released The One Man Blues Rock Band – comprised of 14 rousing rock, blues, and country blends. Hill’s career spans over two decades. The Juno award-winning rocker has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, playing alongside Ray Charles, B.B. King, ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Jeff Beck – to name a few.
The energy from this album radiates through your speakers, and now Hill is taking the music back on the road for a handful of Ontario shows.
Liverpool Sound And Vision – Steve Hill – Citadel St Helens gig review (Sunday May 13, 2018)
“It’s one thing to listen to Canada’s Steve Hill via the medium in which he strides. It’s quite another to witness it in action, to see the Blues played with deftness and spirit, the smile and the stare in your mind as the notes ring out in the praise of the genre.” – 5-stars, Liverpool Sound and Vision
CC Badass Show – The One-Man Blues Rock Band” album review (Sunday May 13, 2018)
“Beyond the imagination of what one would think feasible, Steve Hill serves up a jaw dropping assortment of blues rock on the creative masterpiece that is The One-Man Blues Rock Band.” – CC Badass Show
Rock and Blues Muse – Album review (Monday May 7, 2018)
“Furiously swinging his drumsticks, which are fixed to his guitar headstock, Hill pounds his stand-up drum kit through “Go On” and “The Collector,” hard rock-infused blues stompers that will have you both nodding your head in agreement and shaking it in pure disbelief. By the time Hill slides and hammers his way through the guitar solo in the ZZ Top-esque, “Damned,” it becomes completely unfathomable that a single musician can possess so much talent.” – Rock and Blues Muse
“The One Man Blues Rock Band. Recorded live in La Chapelle, Quebec, if ever there’s a title that says exactly what the tin contains, then this is surely it. A powerhouse CD crammed to the gills with gut wrenching style.”
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.
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…”
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.
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.
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.”