Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Steve Hill- Solo Recordings Volume 3

2016 – No Label Records
By Phillip Smith; July 6, 2016

It’s no surprise Canadian musician Steve Hill has pulled down the 2015 JUNO Award for Blues Album of the Year, as well as Maple Blues Awards in 2014 and 2015 for Electric Act of the Year.  This man has it all going on with one of the best one-man band acts I’ve heard.  Hill attacks the blues with true grit as he pulls it all together accomplishing a magnificent feat in every one of his performances.  Solo Recordings Volume 3 follows up his JUNO nominated Solo Recordings Volume 1 and JUNO winning Solo Recordings Volume 2.  With Volume 3, Hill dishes up a dozen magnificent songs which resonate deeper with each and every listen.

“Damned” breaks loose with a wall of electric guitar fury alongside a driving beat.  One song in and already it’s hard to imagine this is one lone man with an arsenal of instruments.  Hill approaches “Still A Fool & A Rollin Stone” with intense focus, dishing out a performance which sounds like it came from someone who has been playing fifty years.  He shines on guitar as well as vocals, making this a no-holds-barred favorite.  In “Troubled Times”, Hill shows off his versatility and reminds us that not everything is pleasant.  The song is beautifully played.  When Hill tackles one of my favorite blues tunes, “Rollin’ & Tumblin / Stop Breaking Down”, I go to my happy place as soon as I hear the slide.  The man can sure play the blues.  That is a fact. 

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