“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 …”
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.
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