Steve Hill Dear Illusion
Canadian bluesman Steve Hill has pulled down an impressive number of awards over his twenty-seven-plus years of playing professionally. In 2015 he was awarded the Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year. In 2013 he received the Best self-produced CD award at the Memphis International Blues Challenge. And as far as the Maple Blues Awards go, he’s secured eight of them for different categories over the years. That being said, Steve Hill is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and his latest album, Dear Illusion is absolutely brilliant. The album contains ten masterfully-written original songs performed by Hill on vocals and a variety of instruments: guitars, bass, drums, pedal steel, piano, mandolin, and harmonica. Behind Hill, is drummer Wayne Proctor, and The Devil Horns.
An infectious guitar riff and a blast of horns kicks the record in with a fully-charged burst of energy on “All About the Love”. The up-tempo beat lays down the red-carpet for the hot blues revue to come. Leading in with a swampy serving of harp, Hill keeps the momentum going with “Keep it Together”. The slide guitar on this Springsteen-like track sounds great paired with the horns. As soon as “Follow Your Heart” starts, I immediately start soaking up that honky-tonk era Stones vibe. Not only is this a terrific song, but it offers great advice as well. A melancholy wave rushes over me when I hear “So it Goes”. Hill enhances the mood on this lovely ballad performing on mandolin. Dear Illusion concludes with “Until the Next Time”, a song which makes me think of George Harrison very much. The song is weightless and grounded at the same time.
Steve Hill’s Dear Illusion is a splendid album from beginning to end. It’s a musical gem.
By Phillip Smith
Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com