Steve Hill – The One-Man Blues Rock Band
No Label Records
CD: 14 Songs, 68:00 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, One-Man Band, Live Album
No matter what, blues fans, you’ve got to hand it to a one-man band. Such an artist’s versatility, broad array of talents, and crowd appeal are second-to-none, making admiring throngs wonder how and why s/he acquired these skills. Canada’s electrifying Steve Hill, and his tenth release The One-Man Blues Rock Band, will certainly make audiences ask these questions – whether live (as on the album) or at home. It will also make them ask one more: “Is ‘loud’ a genre in and of itself? It should be.’” In terms of instrumentation, Hill plays guitar and drums with aplomb. No accordion or mandolin solos here, but Steve’s style isn’t suited to such things. The fourteen songs here, twelve originals and two covers, are perfect for party animals. School’s starting soon, and yours truly can easily imagine some fraternities playing this at top volume on Friday nights. Vocally, he’s a cross between a long-haul trucker and a barroom DJ: tougher than a bed of nails.
During his 25-year career, Steve Hill has won the Juno award for Best Blues Album in 2015 for Solo Recordings Volume 2, and eight Maple Blues Awards. He’s shared the scene with several of his idols, playing alongside Ray Charles, B.B. King, ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Jeff Beck and many others. States Hill, “I wanted a live album that would capture all the energy of my concerts. I’ve been waiting for twenty years to release a live album. That evening in Quebec City [on which he recorded this CD] was absolutely perfect, and it gives, in my opinion, my best record: the one I’ve always wanted to do.”
Naturally, Steve is the sole musician featured, but he gives special thanks in the CD liner notes to countless others. Most clever is his shout-out to Nic Jodoin, who executed “transfer to tape and other analogue fairy-dusting.”
The following song gets to the nitty-gritty of ambition: what one’s struggle to win is all about.
Track 03: “The Collector” – With a growling intro that takes no prisoners, Steve launches into this blues-rock stomp with the exact same attitude. “Some collect possessions, like…vintage cars. Some folks are into stamps; others like baseball cards. But I gather the good times, and I stockpile the bad…I’m the Collector. I want it all.” He’s not after “something you see on TV and order on the telephone.” As he’s proven time and again throughout his musical journey, those who treasure life’s experiences and the battle to make it to the top are the wealthiest people of all.
What’s the short scoop on The One-Man Blues Rock Band? It’s loud, it’s proud, and it’ll please a crowd!