Like a sunbeam blazing through a wall of stained glass, Steve Strongman’s “Love Love Love” is a gospel-tinged hallelujah at the heart of his forthcoming album No Time Like Now (releasing March 10 via Sonic Unyon Records). Released digitally to coincide with Valentine’s Day, the track is paired with a vital performance video treatment courtesy of Southern Souls, recorded before the altar of the 150-year-old New Vision United Church in Hamilton, Ontario.
“‘Love Love Love’ is a positive song of power,” says Steve Strongman, who co-wrote the track with producer and long-time collaborator Rob Szabo. “It's about taking matters into your own hands, choosing how to feel, and focusing on the positive.
“When I wrote the song and sang it a few times, I had a vision for a huge choir uplifting the song,” he adds. “It feels like a mix between dirty blues from the South and a gospel choir on a sunny Sunday afternoon at church. The Southern Souls version is very honest and captures the passion of the song. It’s all live, and it was a blast to record it in the church.” For the infectious performance, Strongman was joined by bassist Alec Fraser and drummer Sean O’Grady.
Modern and timeless, Strongman’s No Time Like Now is a slab of reinvigorated 21st century blues. An intoxicating shot of raw electrified blues, the album captures the performer riding a surge of new energy. The album is a shout-out to a lifelong love of blues in all its shapes and shadings, from rough-hewn electric blues, blue-collar hollers and swampy stompers to soulful groovers and hushed, heartfelt ballads. More than anything, the album reconnects with the primal force and emotional clout of dirty blues. It’s a stunning rocker, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
With No Time Like Now, one of Canada’s most talented and compelling blues players becomes a juggernaut. Backed by an impressive pack of players (including drummers Dave King and Adam Warner, bassists Rob Szabo and Alec Fraser, keyboardist Jesse O’Brien), the band is pure fire — both athletically limber and wickedly tight. No Time Like Now buzzes with fresh energy — loose, playful and reinvigorated — but it’s thanks to the calibre and chemistry of the players that it lands its punches so consistently.
“I think every artist owes it to themselves to continue to grow and explore new ground, while still holding onto the thing that made them want to play in the first place,” says Strongman. “This record does that for me — it's exciting and honest.”
Mar 1 • Toronto, ON • Venue TBA
Mar 3 • Hamilton, ON • Mills Hardware
Mar 4 • Hamilton, ON • Mills Hardware
Mar 6 • Ancaster, ON • Jazz Up the Winter Blues
Mar 8 • Peterborough, ON • Venue TBA
Mar 9 • Toronto, ON • Rivoli
Mar 24 • Kingston, ON • Venue TBA
Mar 30 • Ottawa, ON • Venue TBA
Mar 31 • Kingston, ON • RCHA Club
Apr 1 • London, ON • Windermere Manor (solo)
Apr 14 • Midland, ON • Midland Cultural Centre
May 4 • Kitchener, ON • Centre in the Square
May 5 • Quebec City, QC • Centre d’Art La Chapelle
May 6 • Trois Rivieres, QC • Venue TBA
May 27 • Durham, ON • Durham West Blues Fest
June 21 • London, ON • Budweiser Gardens (Opening for Buddy Guy)