Interview – Steve Hill

Photo Credit: Szymon Goralczyk

Steve Hill‘s first live album has been two decades in the making – this year he released The One Man Blues Rock Band – comprised of 14 rousing rock, blues, and country blends. Hill’s career spans over two decades. The Juno award-winning rocker has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, playing alongside Ray Charles, B.B. King, ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Jeff Beck – to name a few.

The energy from this album radiates through your speakers, and now Hill is taking the music back on the road for a handful of Ontario shows.

We caught up with him to find out more about the tour and what he has planned for the new year.

The live album you released this year was a long time coming – why was now the right time for “The One Man Blues Rock Band”?

I’ve been recording concerts for about 20 years in the hope of releasing a live album but I was never totally satisfied with the results. The difference this time is probably due to the number of concerts I’ve done prior to recording. Since I started this One-Man Band adventure about 7 years ago, I’ve done over 800 shows. 125 in 2017 alone and the live album is from show number 124! It was also the fourth show that got recorded that year and the others were good too so it really helped in keeping the stress level down, which is usually a big part of the problem when you record a concert. The natural tendency is to get self-conscious and overthink. I thought I already had the album in the can and I was recording that  show to have some extra material so that really helped. I ended up using only cuts from that night.

How do you describe the energy at a live Steve Hill show?

It’s hard for me to describe my concerts as I’m pretty busy while they’re happening!

I’d say it’s high energy Rock and Blues with a few moments of mellower acoustic numbers so the audience (and myself) can catch their breath!

Are there any favourites from the album that your fans really respond to – and do you share the same favourites?

‘’Dangerous’’ is always a fan favourite and I still enjoy performing it every time.

Lately ‘’Never Is Such A Long Time’’ has been getting a killer reaction too.

‘’The Ballad Of Johnny Wabo’’ usually gets a standing ovation so that’s certainly a big one.

Do you draw from any of your musical influences when you’re performing?

I draw from my influences all the time, without realizing it most times. After all this time my influences are a part of me. While I play I get flashes in my mind, like, oh here’s a bit of Muddy Waters, some Robert Johnson, a Hendrix lick here, a  Jimmie Vaughan lick there. Its impossible to escape!

What do you have in the works for 2019?

Looks like 2019 is gonna be a busy year, again. There will be at least one new album. I’m working on acoustic songs, electric one-man band material and maybe some stuff with a band. Looking forward to working in the studio which I haven’t done in two years due to my touring schedule. There’s a European tour in the Spring, a bunch of shows in Quebec and hopefully lots of shows across the country.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
October 10 – London, ON – Aeolian Hall
October 11 – Kingston, ON – The Grand Theatre
October 12 – Orleans, ON – Shenkman Arts Centre
October 13 – Oshawa, ON – Regent Theatre
October 14 – Guelph, ON – River Run Centre

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