Steve Hill

Steve Hill

Bluesman builds on recent success

NANAIMO – Maple Blues winner performing at the Queen’s on Saturday.

It is safe to say that 2015 has been one heck of a year for Montreal’s Steve Hill.

The bluesman picked up a Juno Award for his most recent album, Solo Recordings Vol. 2. He also won four Maple Blues Awards and five Lys Blues Awards.

“It has been a great year,” Hill said. “I’ve never had as much success as I am having now.”

On Saturday (Oct. 17), Hill, a one-man performer who plays the guitar, bass drum and snare drum, will be performing at the Queen’s along with Mark Crissinger. Hill says he is excited to be returning to Vancouver Island.

“It is always nice to be there. I really like it there. I haven’t been on the Island in … 16 years,” he said.

Hill was born in Trois-Rivières, Que., but has spent the majority of his life in Montreal.

His interest in music began when he started learning the piano at age 12.

A few years later he began learning the guitar, which Hill says was when he realized he wanted to be a musician.

“I kind of knew it then,” Hill said. “That is what I wanted to do and that is what I would do.”

By the time Hill turned 16 he was already playing in venues and by 18 he was a professional musician.

“I never really did anything else,” he said.

Eventually Hill would work his way up from performing at tiny bars and clubs in Montreal to playing alongside legends such as Ray Charles, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. He has also performed with ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin, Jeff Beck and Matt Andersen.

According to Hill, one of his biggest challenges early on in his career was being able to break out of his shell.

“I was really shy when I was a kid,” Hill said. “I didn’t have a choice but to deal with that when I was performing.”

Hill believes that putting on a memorable live performance is key for any artist.

“Showmanship is really important,” he said.

Last year, Hill released Solo Recordings Vol. 2. The record picked up a Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year.

“It is great to have it (a Juno Award),” Hill said. “It really opened doors for me.”

Hill is currently working on a new album Solo Recordings Vol. 3, which has no release date as of now.

“I am going back to the music that I really love,” Hill said. “It sounds more like a band I would say. It’s more rock ‘n’ roll than Solo Recordings Vol. 2. It is still blues but it is rock ‘n’ roll at the same time.”

Despite the recent influx of awards, Hill remains humble, focused and ready to build on his success.

“It is all about hard work, but you never know what you’re going to get,” Hill said. “I had worked really hard and I have been doing it for a long time but I didn’t expect to win all of that, obviously. It is just amazing.”

Hill performs at the Queen’s at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $21. Call 250-754-8550 for tickets. For more information on Hill, please visit www.stevehillmusic.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod

 

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