Monday, May 7, 2012
Steve Strongman, Live in Hamilton
Steve Strongman has introduced his new releases at Hamilton Place's Studio theatre for quite a while now. We've attended almost all of them. The audience is always filled with family and friends, neighbours and fans, so a good time is virtually guaranteed. He shows every time that he is following the advice given to him by his mentor Mel Brown, "Strong-Man, he called me Strong-Man, give the people what they want!" That he does. So when the people called out for both "Birthday Song" and "River" as encore choices, he said, "What the hell, I'll play 'em both." It took a long time, though, to get to the encore. Steve is looking prosperous these days, wearing a fine pair of Italian shoes, silk socks and a new grey suit. One imagines he treated himself to this finery after winning the Maple Blues Award for Best Blues Guitarist a month or so ago. He came out on a stage that was dressed up with some plants, and an old wooden dresser he found earlier that day sitting on the side of the road, marked 'FREE'. Homey! The new album is an acoustic affair. Steve played an acoustic for five years before switching to electric guitar, and says he still "loves the sound" and I love it too. He started things off playing a 12-string on "Haven't Seen It Yet" a tune from the new A Natural Fact CD. He would go on to play all 12 of that album's tracks, but that was the point of the night...it was a CD release party, and the merch table had plenty of CDs for sale! He switched to the old Gibson J45 for a few songs, then blew harp and sang "Just One Thing" before bringing out the band.