Photo Credit Matt Barnes
Canadian blues musician, Hamilton Music Award winner, and JUNO Award winner Steve Strongman chatted with us about his latest album, “No Time Like Now” (Sonic Unyon/Sony Music Canada). We heard his new singles March 3 at Mills Hardware to celebrate the official album release March 10, 2017.
Listen to No Time Like Now
Since your 2012 release of “A Natural Fact,” how has Hamilton evolved as a “Music City”?
I think Hamilton has always been a music city, from the time I moved here 20 years ago and before. The only change is now people are starting to notice, and market the city as such. It’s such an honest city, and that comes out in the artists’ music.
What was the inspiration behind No Time Like Now?
After the success of my last few releases, I felt I had something different to offer. I wanted to push boundaries as an artist, but still stay true to my blues roots. No Time Like Now, to me, feels new and old at the same time — all of my influences are represented.
Where are some of your favourite venues to perform in Hamilton? In other parts of Canada?
I’ve always had an amazing time performing at the Hamilton Place’s Great Hall, perhaps because some career-changing moments have happened on that stage for me — opening for Buddy Guy, or Joe Cocker, for example. Having said that, there’s a great vibe to smaller venues like Mills Hardware and This Ain’t Hollywood. Those venues attract music lovers! Centre in the Square in Kitchener has always been special for me too. I grew up in Kitchener, so that was the place as a kid I thought, “Someday I will play there.”
What makes Hamilton and the people of Hamilton a unique city to create and perform music?
Again, the city and its people are honest. It’s also very diverse in that the city’s various areas have so many different kinds of people. There’s inspiration everywhere. The city artistic community has also been growing steadily. (Not to mention all the great restaurants!) Hamilton is a city on the rise and you can feel it. That in itself adds to the creativity.
What can we expect from you in the next year or two?
I’m looking forward to touring Canada, with a tour of Europe in the planning stages for the Fall, I’m excited to get out and play these new songs live!