Rock and Blues Muse – Album review

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.

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