Steve Hill is a Canadian blues artist. He has released eight albums prior to this selection, covering the genres of hard rock, country, stoner rock and folk. This release, as the name suggests, is the third in a series of solo blues recordings. The catch here is that, when Hill says solo, he really means it! He plays all the instruments on this record (damn well, too!) and also provides vocals. Oh, and he also produced it. Talk about self-contained!
The album contains a mix of really rocky up-tempo numbers with a handful of acoustically based ballads. The bulk of the twelve tracks are original compositions but there are also three covers of songs by Muddy Waters ('Still A Fool & A Rollin' Stone', which features some fine guitar work); a combination of Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson (Rollin' & Tumblin'/Stop Breaking Down); and Woody Guthrie ('Going Down The Road Feeling Bad', which opens with a sublime acoustic solo and continues to wend its way over the course of five, gently pleasant, minutes).
All of the original compositions showcase Hill's talent and skill. Perhaps the standouts of the rockier tracks are the heavy opener, 'Damned' which begins with a huge riff which carries the song along for its entire length and 'Dangerous', the current single, which carries on in much the same vein as 'Damned'. Of the acoustic tracks, the aforementioned Woody Guthrie cover and the excellent 'Slowly Slipping Away', reminiscent of Led Zep in their gentler moments, and 'Troubled Times' are probably the best, although every track on this offering has its merits.
It is incredible to think that one individual can be so talented as to write, produce and play all of the instruments on such a great record. Steve Hill deserves to be known, and acclaimed, world-wide but sadly, in these days of mass produced chart fodder, that is very unlikely to happen. A great shame but you can console yourself by checking out this outstanding release! If you fancy seeing Hill live, and catching his amazing one man band performance into the bargain, he is supporting rock stalwarts Wishbone Ash on their UK tour, which spans October and November.
No Label Records
SOLO RECORDINGS: VOLUME 3
Review by Dave Uphill
6th Oct 2017
1) Damned; 2) Dangerous
3) Still a Fool & a Rollin Stone
4) Slowly Slipping Away
5) Rhythm All Over
6) Smoking Hot Machine
7) Troubled Times
9) Can't Take It With You
10) Rollin & Tumblin/Stop Breaking Down
11) Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
12) Walking Grave
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...Steve Hill deserves to be known, and acclaimed, world-wide..."