After almost a decade (and 5 recordings) as a one man band, Steve Hill has come out with a brand new album (and a new direction) creating the next logical step in his progression as a player, singer and songwriter.

Inspired by his trip to California, the Desert Trip Festival in Coachella, followed a couple of weeks in LA and a three week odyssey in a rented camper around the American south west, this new album is a brilliant mix of original songs written by the campfire at night, as the soundtrack to an epic road trip. 

It opens with ‘Evening Star’, as song that conjures up the cool desert night, a cracking camp fire and a vista of stars cloaked in patterns as sold as time itself.

The second cut, ‘Rain’, lends itself to the quiet patter that accompanies a summer shower. The reflective road weary mood of this piece is dark and powerful.

Up next, ‘Follow You Down’ is drenched in atmosphere. The sound reminiscent of an empty hall or church, haunted by echoes of unanswered prayers.

The fourth cut on the album brings in the rhythm section,  bass and drums driving ‘Cold Hearts’ from the campfire to a roadside watering hole where lonely travelers gather in the night to share the company of each other and the dance of the desperately lonely.

Up Next is ‘I Won’t’, an ode to the road less travelled and the free spirits that wander it, not always on the right side of the law.
The sixth cut is ‘Gotta Be Strong’, a toe tapper with a gospel feel. A feel that could be well at home in a roadside tent with the sun baked faithful and prayers for guidance in a confusing world.

Up next is ‘Make Believe’, a soulful and plaintiff cry for self realization. Are we a result of the real world, or is the real world a product of our deepest hopes, darkest desires and heady dreams.

The eighth cut, ‘Days’ continues taking the listener back to Steve’s one man band style, a full rich sound syphoned straight from the heart and expertly strained through harp, guitar, flesh and bone. 

Up next, ‘Judgement Day’ flows like a river through the night. This cut draws heart and soul out of that darkness, lays it in the stark light of day for all to see. The sure knowledge that eventually we all face our own personal judgement day.

The album closes with ‘Tail Lights’, the pinpoints we follow on the darkest highway. If you have ever driven under the deepest night, with only the red tail lights of some other lost soul, like demon eyes staring and daring you to follow, then you get the feel of this instrumental. 

This collection is ripe with imaginative explorations of music, in its many forms, from solo recordings to full band, from soulful folk to rockin’ blues. Each cut a rest stop along the blues highway, a respite for the road weary traveler. (Terry Parsons)