Even though he tries to record ‘live off the floor’ for each of his solo albums, there remains the excitement and energy of live performance in front of an enthusiastic audience and that’s exactly what Montreal’s Steve Hill has captured here in a concert recorded at La Chapelle in Quebec City last November. The opener is “Rhythm All Over” wherein he helpfully and dramatically describes what he does, instrument by instrument, arm by arm – as one German magazine put it: ‘a multitasking superstar’. The selections here are mostly from his previous three and one half Solo Recordings, well sequenced and showcasing his excellent songwriting. Above all, though, with all he’s doing plus various tempo changes, the quality of his vocals is simply astounding. For “Tough Luck”, “Nothing New” and “Out Of Phase” he straps on his acoustic guitar and harp rack, breaking up the electric set nicely. The one non-original song is the encore, Jimi Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile Slight Return”, a well-played treat. If you haven’t got a Steve Hill album yet, this is probably the one to get; if you have them all, you’ll be very pleased with this one. As I write this, Hill is touring the UK, he’ll be back for a few shows including one at the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 14th before heading back across the pond. On the horizon is his return engagement with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Kent Nagano for John Anthony Lennon’s “The Electric Light Concerto” on September 1 at the Maison symphonique. His web site is www.stevehillmusic.com.

June 2018 - Judy Brown
June 2018 - Steve Dawson