Steve Hill releases his first ever live album, the 14 track "The One-Man Blues Rock Band" on Manhaton Records in the UK on Friday 11th May 2018, recorded at “La Chapelle” Quebec on November 30th 2017. Steve Hill is having a very successful time over the last few years as his “one man band” approach to his hard hitting blues/rock style has seen him perform on stage with many of the biggest names in blues/rock music and many of his own musical heroes. Along the way, Steve Hill has picked up some very prestigious awards as a musician and a performer. To some, this may look an overnight success, and maybe it is if you turn a blind eye to the previous 10 years of album releases and 20 years of getting out there and performing his music.
"The One-Man Blues Rock Band", the first live album from Steve Hill, is perhaps not the best introduction to his live music for me as I have never to date managed to see Steve playing live, and the whole point of a live album is to capture a little bit of that essence for the fans. This album is live though in every sense of the word. Not only does it capture some of the energy that you would expect from a performer gaining a lot of attention for his live shows, but this is all Steve Hill playing everything without any added trickery and over-dubs in the studio. I did review Steve’s “Solo Recordings 3” album last year though, and most of the songs on this live album come from Solo Recordings 1, 2 and 3.
There is something about Steve Hill and his performance on this album that takes me back to first hearing Motorhead all those years ago. Not a copy or a tribute, but that same relentless attack to deliver a hard and sharp edge to his music. There is something basic about Steve Hill and his music that hits a raw nerve no matter I think what age you are, and if you are young enough to be hearing this style for the first time, then welcome to the journey you are embarking upon. There is with Steve a deceptiveness to his music at times that can blind you a little to the technical skills of a gifted musician.
Opening the album with “Rhythm All Over”, that distinctive sound of Steve is firmly set right away, and swiftly follows on in the same vein with “Go On” and “The Collector”. All great “live” tracks, but Steve Hill is a musician who is far more than a relentless blues/rock rhythm. Steve is a musician who can effortlessly move from classic blues sounds to soulful blues to classic Woody Guthrie sounds (and everything in between) as his whims take him, and I have to admit that it is some of those other songs that attract me the most to Steve’s music, so it’s great to hear songs like “Emily”, “Nothing New” and “Out Of Phase” on this album. Not forgetting of course the wonderful fusion of styles that is “The Ballad of Johnny Wabo”.
Steve Hill has attracted a lot of attention as a “Blues Guitarist”, and won some serious “blues music awards” along the way for his talents, but here I really dislike artists being pigeon holed into specific styles or genres of music, and scratch just a little beneath the surface of “Steve’s Blues” and there are so many other musical influences in there. Also, try to zone out a little from the guitar rhythm and drum beat as here is someone with lyrics that should be listened to too.
Having firmly established his one man band sound, I wonder though where Steve Hill goes in the coming years as a musician as there are clearly so many more avenues for him to explore musically and so many more colours and contrasts that other instruments and other musicians can add to his music when he feels the time is right to explore those sounds.
Steve Hill is very busy touring and promoting this album, making support appearances with both King King and Danny Bryant. For more details visit the Steve Hill website at
STEVE HILL ONE MAN BLUES ROCK BAND Album Tracks
1. Rhythm All Over
2. Go On
3. The Collector
5, Tough Luck
6, Never Is Such A Long Time
7, Hate To See You Go
9. Nothing New
10. Out Of Phase
11. Still Got It Bad
12. The Ballad Of Johnny Wabo
14. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Review by Tom King