Steve Hill, known for his impressive one man band live show, brings this concept to the studio once again on his latest release Solo Recordings Volume 3. His modus operandi is to perform all of the instruments at the same time but this isn’t some novelty act. Steve writes, records, and performs very soulful blues based rock, and Americana in a serious way and unless you see him live or watch one of his videos, you would have no idea of his one man band mastery.
The album kicks off with a trio of excellent blues rockers. “Damned” and “Dangerous” are full of Hill’s chunky guitar work and slap back drenched soulful rock belting. “Still A Fool & A Rollin Stone” is a hard driving slow blues rocker designed to melt your ear buds to the side of your head. Hill also has a softer, more folk and Americana side. On the the Neil Young inspired “Slowly Slipping Away,” Hill laments his time slipping away but feels young when with his lover, a sentiment reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Old Man.” The acoustic numbers are a nice down shift to give the album some dynamics but he never lingers long in that vein and quickly get’s back to the rock and roll. Tracks like “Rhythm All Over” and “Smoking Hot Machine” are stand outs among the barn burners. The latter features Hill tearing up some distorted harmonica as if playing guitar, bass, drums and singing wasn’t enough.
With Hill playing the drums and bass at the same time as the guitar, don’t expect any crazy drum fills or slap bass acrobatics. He puts his focus where it belongs. The guitar and vocal work are wonderfully hard driving on the rockers and appropriately vulnerable and heartfelt on the acoustic tracks. This JUNO winner does not disappoint. Solo Recordings Volume 3 is wildly enjoyable even if you have never seen Steve perform live, but do yourself a favor and check out his live show. This one man rock and roll machine is not to be missed.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Slowly Slipping Away
– Rhythm All Over
– Smoking Hot Machine
The Big Hit