Strongman review…March 6, 2017…

STRONGMAN

NO TIME LIKE NOW

SONIC UNYON RECORDS

NO TIME LIKE NOW–BRING THE HAMMER DOWN–MONEY IN THE BANK–YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET (FEATURING RANDY BACHMAN)–LOVE LOVE LOVE–I’M A MAN–OLD SCHOOL–GOOD TIMES–SOMETIMES–THE DAY THEY CARRY ME AWAY

Blues-rock guitarist Steve Strongman hails from north of the border up Ontario way, and has just released a mighty fine set of blues in all shades, “No Time Like Now,” on the Sonic Unyon imprint.  Steve has always been one of Canada’s most fiery performers, and on these cuts, nine originals written by Steve and bassist/producer Rob Szabo, and one lone cover, Steve lets loose and gets down on a set that’s not only emotional and energetic, but sho’ nuff a helluva lot of fun!

Another thing you’ll notice as you listen to Steve is the huge, fat tones he coaxes out of his guitars.  Recorded in his basement, he opted for smaller, vintage amps cranked up to 11 to achieve the desired sounds, rather than seek a larger studio.

His hard work paid off, and you can hear it throughout these songs.  We all know that the blues is based on primal urges,  and the title cut spells it out, as Steve tells a lover, “there’s no use denyin’–there’s No Time Like Now.”  Another good gal s just like “Money In The Bank,” and this one follows a modified stop-time , slide-heavy groove to get its message across, while “I’m A Man” is a struttin’ slab of funk that features falsetto vocals from Steve and has a definite Prince Rogers Nelson vibe.  Steve closes the set on a somber note, with the sparsely-arranged ode to true love, “Until The Day They Come To Carry Me Away.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Old School” is just that—a yearning for “digging in the roots” to find the true meaning of the blues.  He’s all over the slide guitar on this one, grabbing an extended solo.  And, he and his friend, Randy Bachman, turn in a slowed-down version of the Bachman-Turner Overdrive classic, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,: with Steve on vocals, and the whole thing taking on a T. Rex-ish vibe.

Steve Strongman has always wanted to make a record of the music that got him started in wanting to play guitar in the first place.  Raw, powerful, straight-up blues is the order of the day in “No Time Like Now!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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