When Steve Hill is in control, the blues is anything but a museum piece. Still on Wednesday in front of a dense crowd at Sous-Bois Chicoutimi, the guest of the Jazz and Blues Festival Saguenay, as well as Bear Productions, showed how the genre remains current.
The audience was young, although there were a few gray heads, and he quickly found his bearings through the notes of flood balanced by Trifluvien. Only as a big as the three albums of the Solo Recordings series, he explored the nuances of blues, warmer as rougher, displaying absolute control.
You should have seen the beginning of the program, massive silhouette on the cramped stage, surrounded by batteries made cymbals and live with his feet, and blows with the neck of his guitar. As soon as installed, the man has erected a wall of sound pulling the rock. It was well acquainted with Damned, one of its novelties.
“I’m glad to be with you for two other parties’ ‘sold out’,” commented Steve Hill after being greeted by a cocktail with shouts and whistles. To be precise, yesterday was extra. It was justified by the enthusiasm generated by the first appointment on the agenda, that of today.
Another composition of the musician, Can not Take It With You, installed a different atmosphere, a little less power. It paved the way for traditional accents of Rolling Stone, the kind of piece that percolates long before making her way to go, but that rewards the patience of the listener.
The blues can also be playful, like Gotta Be Strong And Carry On, or putting air between the notes to evoke a trip to Saskatchewan, which is about Nothing New. “We played in Chicoutimi on Tuesday and then we went to Saskatoon. It was 40 hours of non-stop route, “said Steve Hill.
Traveling is also what the public did on The Ballad Of Johnny Wabo, offered last title before the break. There are bits where it smelled “swomp”, where the climate was heavy like a stormy day in Louisiana, while other passages have married rock contours, including the unbridled final, crowning a journey without fault.
A tour de force
Of course, Steve Hill had kept some ace up his sleeve, including a version of Stop Breaking Down a lot steeper than that of the Rolling Stones on the album Exile On Main Street. Some have dug this trench up reminders, but the guitarist continued with a wiser blues and the amazing Emily.
It was still a novelty, a very sweet song, a little folk, a little country. One might have feared that this ballad falls flat, but not all. The public followed, as he succumbed to the poisonous charm of Out Of Step, a tribute to the pioneer of blues, Robert Johnson sulfur.
Steve Hill took the time to discuss this legendary character, a man is said to have sold his soul to the devil in order to play as a god, whose death at the age of 27 years was the fact of a jealous husband. It was felt inhabited by the story. His voice was different, darker, while his guitar was carrying a hand echo.
This is the last song that the author of these lines has heard and it has fallen because it is a tour de force. One time, it smelled like dust in a rural blues. Other times, it seemed that the Devil had made the incandescent guitar.
Yes, Robert Johnson died, but thanks to an exceptional musician, his spirit floated inside the Sous-Bois last night. We were no longer in Chicoutimi, but not far from Crossroads in the days of tube radios and adulterated whiskey.