Montreal’s Steve Hill is hands-down the meanest guitar player in Canada.
Over the years he has shared the stage with other guitar gods, like Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, B.B. King and Carlos Santana.
Then back in 2012, Hill returned to his blues roots on Solo Recordings – Volume 1, his terrific 12-track solo album that won Best Self-Produced CD at the Memphis International Blues Challenge, 5 trophies at the 11th annual Lys Blues gala – including Blues Album of the Year – and a Juno nomination for Blues Album of the Year.
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The operative word when talking about scorchingly hot blues guitarist Steve Hill is Heavy. Not necessarily heavy like heavy metal, but more in the sense that there is a weight to everything he does. There is a density… a mass, and a gravity that means that what he does carries significant, weight and relevance. His talent is deep and his vision is wide, and it all pours out like molten gold in his eigth album Solo Recordings Volume 2.
Montreal’s Hill is redefining blues, taking it forward and back all at once. Back to the days of one-man operations, doing it all himself, and taking that forward with up-to-date electric heaviness. 2012 saw him start a new journey with Solo Recordings Vol. 1, stripping it all back to a one-on-one experience with the songs and the listener. Already recognized as a leading guitar player, Hill grabbed even more cache with a raw, intimate set that was nominated for that year’s Juno. Volume 2 is richer, deeper, better.
Last year Steve Hill treated us to a 4 Track EP called “Solo Recordings Volume 1 1/2″ as a nice little teaser in appreciation to all his fans. That particular release was my first intro to Steve Hill and one which I enjoyed enough that I chose it as the Best Canadian Roots and Blues Album in my 2013 Year End Review. Now with the release of “Solo Recordings Volume 2″, all of Steve Hill’s fans including myself get the chance to once again be treated with some more new music from this immensely talented artist.
I just received the newest release, Solo Recordings Volume 2, from Steve Hill and it’s quite interesting. Opening with Still Got It Bad, Hill established a gritty blues sound that is lacking in most contemporary bands. Accompanying himself on guitar and drums, this raw sound is right on! Read More
There has been a lot of baseball talk around these parts lately what with a number of groups lobbying to bring a team back to Montreal, and even having the Toronto Blue Jays host a couple of grapefruit league games at the Olympic Stadium. But Jose Bautista was not the only one hammering out home runs recently. Kim Churchill, Matt Andersen, and Steve Hill were doing the same across La Belle Province for a sixteen gig over eighteen day tour that had the three playing on the same stage. I was fortunate enough to have caught the last triple bill show of the tour in Laval. Sadly I did not catch any of the earlier shows. Because once wasn’t enough. Although the three musicians have unique styles, they complement each other and were a perfect trio to put together for a performance. Read More
La compétition sera en ligne sur le site du Trois-Rivières en Blues du dimanche 6 avril jusqu’au dimanche 27 avril minuit. Les lauréats du vote populaire seront dévoilés lors de la soirée Gala qui aura lieu le dimanche 4 mai prochain à la salle J. Anthonio Tompson, 374 Rue des Forges, Trois-Rivières.
Steve Hill redefines the limits of a one-man-band with his album, Solo Recordings Volume 2, out on March 4. The singer-songwriter-composer explores new sounds, all the while paying homage to his blues roots. This album infuses the blues with a good dose of rock, folk and country.
So you really liked Solo Recordings: Volume 1. You were really looking forward to Volume 2. You heard it was going to be released in the fall of 2013. And then…that didn’t happen. And you’re rightfully disappointed. Steve Hill feels for you. Really, he does. Read More
Steve Hill didn’t set out to play the guitar, drums and harp all at once on stage. But it’s working pretty well for him. Alan talked to him about his musical journey before his show at the NAC Fourth Stage.
click here to listen to the interview
You’d think a solo show would make life easier for a musician who spends most of his time travelling to gigs or recording in his basement.
Well, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way for Steve Hill. When the Montreal guitar hero released his first solo recording last year, the focus was on his whiskey-soaked voice and powerful playing, with accompaniment stripped back to bass drum and percussion. Read More
Wednesday November 20th, Steve was promoting his latest album Solo Recordings Volume 1 ½ on Morning News Montreal. To see the full interview and watch him perform one of his new song Nothing new, click here.
Solo recordings volume 1 1/2 will be available on iTunes november 5th. More info here
Montreal Blues Society contributor Sean Willoughby reviews Steve Hill’s solo show from March 29th in Repentigny. After seeing him headline at the One Man Band Festival in May, and again at the Tremblant Blues Festival last week, in show, and answering questions during the Sunday Workshop, we are looking forward to the release of Solo Recordings: Volume II, this fall, or next spring. Here is Sean’s review from Repentigny: Read More
Don’t miss Steve Hill at the One Man Band Festival in Montreal on the 24th of May at the Sala Rossa in Montreal. Click here for the facebook event
Solo Recording Volume 1 is now number one on the Dawg FM top 20!
And the winner for best self-produced CD at the 29th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN is… Steve Hill! https://www.blues.org/
1. Ann Rabson with Bob Margolin – Not Alone – Vizztone Label Group
2. The Lucky Peterson Band featuring Tamara Peterson – Live At The 55 Arts
Club Berlin – Blackbird Music
3. Mr. Sam – Just Like Dat – Ecko Records
4. Dennis Gruenling – Rockin’ All Day – Vizztone Label Group
5. Various artists – Blues Mix: 9 Southern Soul Blues – Ecko Records
6. Willie Buck – Cell Phone Man – Delmark Records
7. Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones – I Know What It’s Like – 43rd Big Idea Records
8. Red Lotus Revue – Fourteen Stories – Self Released
9. Catfish Keith – A True Friend Is Hard To Find A Gospel Retrospective -
Fish Tail Records
10. Elmore James Jr. & The Broomdusters – Old School Lover – Wolf
11. Memphis Gold – Pickin’ in High Cotton – Stack House Records
12. The Muddy Sons – Pushed On Down The Road – What In Sam Hell Productions
13. Omar and The Howlers – Too Much Is Not Enough – Big Guitar
14. Reverend Freakchild – Chaos and Country Blues – Treated and Released
15. Altered Five – Gotta Earn It – Conclave Records
16. Big Frank & The Healers – Sparky’s Lounge – Lost World Music
17. Michael Bram – Suitcase in the Hall – Vizztone Label Group
18. Craig Chaquico – Fire Red Moon – Blind Pig Records – Craig
19. Chris O’Leary Band – Waiting For The Phone To Ring – Vizztone Label Group
20. Danielle Miraglia – Box of Troubles – Trespass Music
21. Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – Lather Rinse Repeat – Self Released
22. Willie May – Willie May 13 – Booman Music
23. Steve Hill – Solo Recordings Volume 1 – No Label Records
24. Mike Wheeler – Self Made Man – Delmark Records
25. The Lee Boys – Testify – Evil Teen Records
“Colin may be stuck in the 80′s but he can still play guitar with the best of them. Opening act Steve Hill set the bar very high and James almost reached it. Combined – the two artists provided a great evening for the blues …”
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“We saw Steve Hill at NXNE and then again at the end of November at the Horseshoe where we interviewed him. He’s an extraordinary rocking blues guitarist from Montreal.”
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Some people are born to bake cakes. For others – mechanics may be their thing. Steve Hill of Trois Rivieres, is meant to play guitar …
At Club Soda on Saturday night, in a concert dubbed ‘A Return to Montreal‘ – Hill proved once more why he is considered to be one of the best blues guitarists in North America. How about one of the best blues guitarists period!
” The tour has be great so far …” Says Hill following his two hour performance. ” Everywhere I have played it’s been sold out and my solo performance is getting approval.”
Crowd: During this 2 hours one-man show, Steve Hill played mostly blues tunes from his latest album “Solo Recordings Volume 1”, attracting a crowd somewhat older than it used to with his rock band. Club Soda was packed and Steve Hill successfully captivated the audience with an outstanding solo performance.
Technicalities: A guitar in the hands, drums and percussion at his feet, Steve Hill displayed the full array of his talent. The sound was impeccable, as you would expect for this type of set up and venue. Switching from acoustic to electric, with an unusual but extremely effective guitar playing technique, Hill definitely impressed the blues fans in the room. Read More
“C’est le gala de l’Adisq ce dimanche. Alain Brunet de La Presse le critique à juste titre ici. Pour ceux que ce gala rebute, il y a celui de la «musique indépendante», le Gamiq, qui se tient à la mi-novembre.
C’est aussi la période où je vous propose mon bilan musical annuel.
Voici dans le désordre, ce qui a marqué mes oreilles cette année :
2- Steve Hill, Solo recordings vol.1. J’ai toujours apprécié le jeu de guitare de Steve Hill, un guitar hero qui serait une superstar s’il était de nationalité états-unienne… Mais Steve Hill est Québécois. Read More
The thing about rhetoric in the music business is that it is as important to the success of a record as the instruments which are played on it – but while the instruments can be taken at face value, the rhetoric needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Why? Well, think about it – does a record really have the power to “change your life”? Can one album really tear down the established construct in which the rest of the music industryhas been succeeding for years and prompt the business to reconfigure its practices? Can the drums on any one particular song really hit a listener in such a way that they actually feel it physically? This sort of rhetoric is instrumental in helping to paint a picture for listeners and promote an idea – and it’s fun to think it can be taken literally – but the language seldom accurately supports the experience.
Solo Recordings Vol. 1 has reached the 43rd position of the U.S.A. blues charts. Click here to check it out!
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Quebec’s guitar hero is revisiting his roots with his latest album, Solo Recordings Volume 1. We caught up with him between two series of concerts, and he explained how he developed his solo work and the album, which has been acclaimed by the public as well as critics.
- How did the idea for a solo album come about?
Everything started with a friend’s guitar, a Gibson ES-225, perfect to play Chicago blues. I didn’t have the means to buy it from him, so he organised a solo concert in Drummondville in exchange for the guitar! It went really well, so I asked my agent to sell the solo concert concept, especially in small venues where I couldn’t play with my band. It game me the opportunity to rediscover my blues roots, something I had not done in years.
I’m putting the new album by Steve Hill, his seventh, among my top five favorite blues records. It’s titled “Solo Recordings Volume One”. The album has it all, fire, smoke, smouldering coals, silk and rain clouds! It wails, it’s giddy, it cooks and it cries. It’s electric, it’s acoustic and it showcases his versatility.
The album is truly a collection of solo recordings. Steve is alone for each song, with a guitar in his hands and instruments played with his feet. In most cases, his feet are playing a bass drum and hi-hat. In other cases, for example, the Cream re-make, “Politician”, he has a coffee cup filled with change, taped to his boot.
He actually stood in the recording studio playing guitar and singing, at the same time that his feet played bass drum and hi-hat! He confessed there were sometimes balance issues, when he’d occasionally stumble backwards! It’s a cool way to do an album and the result is an irrepressibly pure performance and listening experience.
When I think great Canadian blues-rock guitarists, I think Frank Marino, Colin James and Montreal’s very own Steve Hill, who right now is the meanest guitar player in Canada.
Hill returns to his blues roots on Solo Recordings – Volume 1 (No Label Records), his terrtific brand-new 12-track album that showcases eight original songs and four covers, including Muddy Waters’ Honey Bee.
But the biggest studio workout – on the stripped-down album where Hill plays every instrument – was recording the Cream song Politician.
“Before it was just foot-stomping with my left foot, but on Politican I’m playing [guitar] standing up while playing the bass drum and the high hat at the same time,” Hill says. “I [also] wanted some type of percussion. I tried a shaker but it didn’t work. So my tech guy took a coffee cup, put change in it and gaffer-taped it to my boot. [Working] both feet at the same time took a while to get right. I did it a whole day for about 12 hours and the next day 15 hours in the studio until it sounded totally natural. But after that it took me a week-and-a-half to walk right! It took a month before my leg wasn’t sore anymore!” Read More
Blues music has always coloured Steve Hill’s albums. Mixed with hard, southern or country rock, those blues roots have never been as exposed as they are now, with the release of his seventh album. (…)