Review: Steve Hill – Dear Illusion
No Label Records (November 11th, 2022)
Reviewer: Mark Jackson
Back in the 1980’s, 3 new artists exploded onto the blues-scape. Robert Cray, Jeff Healey and Stevie Ray Vaughn and my late best bro Richey loved them all, and one of my life’s highlights was seeing Stevie Ray Vaughn do a full 2 hour show..just life changing.
Steve Hill‘s new album ‘Dear Illusion‘ reminds me of those days…It’s a custom built Blues Cadillac, with chrome trim and a flying white horse airbrushed on the drivers door! Essentially, it kicks ass!
Starting gun ‘All About The Love‘ opens with a sticky, sleazy truck sized riff, then the vocals come in, reminiscent of Molly Hatchet’s diamond singer Jimmy Farrar.
More highlights? You got ’em. ‘Everything You Got‘ with a rockin’ ZZ Top feel and the horns, hornier than hell, accompanied by a righteous solo.
‘Dear Illusion‘, a great bluesy ballad with lovely harmonies and great guitar tones. ‘Follow Your Heart‘, this is the single, a wondrous slide solo and an almost pop rock feel. ‘So It Goes‘, a heartrending requiem for a friend and ‘Until The Next Time‘, with it’s Claptonesque melody and cards on the table attitude. Sweet.
Mr Hill’s bends and phrasing are special, and the middle 8’s inspired the other musicians picking up the feel of each track.
A couple of minor points. Keys players when they are young should be issued with a Jon Lord manual instructing them to play for the song, and when it’s your moment..shine, don’t smother main vocal or guitar lines!..Also some songs seem too short, the horse starts running, then somebody shuts the gate!
With Eric Gales on top form and the Blues scarily relevant in the early 21st century, the Blues wasn’t dead, it was just resting.
Get this album on vinyl if you can, you will not regret it I promise.
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