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L.A. Beat

Steve Hill expands his one man band for Whoop Up Days

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The trajectory of Quebec bluesman Steve Hill’s entire career and life may have been completely different if not for one guitar — a 1959 Gibson ESG 125.

Stive Hill winds up Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22. Photo by Clement Morin
“I collect guitars and a guy came to my house with this guitar. I couldn’t afford it, but he made me a deal — play a solo show for him,” said Hill, working on his ninth album — the third installment of his Steve Hill Solo Recordings series , which will be released in March.

 He has a dozen new songs in varying stages of completion for the new CD.
The solo recording features Hill playing every instrument, guitar, bass, drums and cymbals simultaneously. You will be able to see the spectacle for yourself at Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22.

“I hadn’t played  a solo show since I was 18. I’d done many things. I played with Pagliaro for three years. But I loved it. And the funny thing was I had an album  being released three weeks later, but the record company didn’t do anything with it.

They didn’t promote it. I wasn’t doing anything and my career wasn’t  going anywhere so I recorded the first Steve Hill Solo recording and it became my best selling album. It won a Juno award for best blues album. It was completely life changing. It just goes to show, just because a record company won’t support you, don’t give up on your career,” he said.

 He is expanding the sound of his one man band sound with each album and tour.


“ I’m playing a cymbal with a drumstick I attached to my guitar head,” he said, adding the one man band idea evolved naturally.
“ I’ve been playing  guitar and singing for 28 years, so I can do that without thinking,  and I was already stomping my foot, so I added a snare drum to that. I had to add my other foot and then I learned the harp and added  the cymbal,” he said adding he stomps out pretty basic rhythms on his drums.

“ I’m not trying to be Neal Peart or John Bonham, he said.

“ And I play the same three chords, D , G and A,” he chuckled.
“ So volume three will be as different to Volume two as volume two was to volume one,” he said.

He doesn’t know what to expect from his first Lethbridge show.

“I just need a stage,” he said.
“ I play  all sores of shows. I  can play on a big stage for 13,000 people  and the next day, pay a soft  seat theatre with 100 people or a club the next day. As long as there are people there to  enjoy it, that’s what it’s really about,” he said.

 He noted he will be concentrating on the music from the first Two Steve Hill solo albums, and may slip in a couple of the new songs plus a couple of covers of blues standards.
 Steve Hill plays Whoop Up days, at 9 p.m., Aug.22.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 August 2015 10:51 )  
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