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A Conversation With Steve Strongman




Steve Strongman is an award-winning blues musician who resides in Hamilton, Ontario. He has not only won a Juno but he also finished first in the guitarist category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He recently signed a deal with Linus Entertainment and Stony Plain Records which will re-release his latest album Tired of Talkin’.

Ken Wallis interviewed Steve Strongman for the radio show Blues Source Canada.




Ken Wallis

Well in these times it's kinda nice to have some good news...some happy news and to tell us all about it is Steve Strongman. Steve thanks for coming on the show.


Steve Strongman

Always a pleasure talking with you Ken. Thanks for having me on.


Ken Wallis

Well, I understand there is something really big in the works for you. So tell us all about it.


Steve Strongman

Yeah in these strange times that we're all in, it's really nice to have, as you said, some positives to look at and a lot of positive things have come from this whole situation that we all find ourselves in..and one of the positives for me has been a co-publishing agreement with Linus Entertainment and they're going to release my back catalogue. All my back catalogue is going to be available through Stony Plain Records and I've signed a deal with them. And moving forward they're going to release my latest album Tired Of Talkin’ and I'm starting to work on a new album for them as well.


Ken Wallis

One of the interesting comments that I read from the Linus folks is that it's going to give you an opportunity to work with some of the best blues and roots artists. Does that mean that you're going to start guesting with other artists?


Steve Strongman

That's exactly what it means, which is very interesting cause when I was approached by the President, Geoff Kulawick really saw me as an artist that had a lot to offer in the writing slash producing world and that's something I've always really worked hard at..writing all the time but I always wrote with myself in mind as an artist..I wrote for the artist Steve Strongman in mind. So it's been a really interesting experience and he's paired me up with a few other people and we've had some great writing sessions starting already, which is really nice to have an opportunity to write with people that I normally wouldn't maybe have that kind of access to and to have the time to do it. It's pretty awesome..I've done some writing with Sass Jordan already and we've had several sessions together and it's going incredibly well and they're be lots more coming out soon.


Ken Wallis

Sass Jordan...what a voice that woman has...


Steve Strongman

She's so talented...anything she sings...it just sounds so amazing. She's really, really good and I've really been enjoying working with her.


Ken Wallis

And they're going to re-release Tired of Talkin'.. Will it be coming out with any changes to the album?


Steve Strongman

I don't think they're going to do any changes. Stoney Plain felt there were a lot of areas that weren't serviced to and as part of my co-publishing agreement moving forward they wanted to put that out and re-release it so we came to an agreement on that, but it's going to stay basically the way the way that it is. They really like the record a lot and I'm just thrilled that they're going to re-release for our listeners that have maybe not heard it.


Photograph by TBBS



Ken Wallis

I don't know how they could miss it but where does Tired Of Talkin’ come from?


Steve Strongman

It was really interesting. Dave King who's my long time.. one of my best friends and a killer drummer and producer himself..Dave and I had started working together and it was time for me to do another record and the process started after I had gone to Memphis and been part of the International Blues Challenge where I won best guitarist as a solo artist there. I then decided to go over to Nashville for a bit and visit some friends and some other people and look at some studios.


That just snowballed into me working with these incredible other musicians and doing six songs in Nashville with Audley Freed and Pat Sansone and James Haggerty..incredible artists in their own right. And after Dave King and I went down to Nashville..then the challenge after that became to come back to Hamilton and record in Hamilton and still get the same kind of vibe with our players that we use here all the time as well and I think that we achieved that. Dave did an amazing job producing the record.


Ken Wallis

For me in many ways I think it almost goes back to your roots of where you started. It's that kind of a dynamic album that reminds me of when you first started out.


Steve Strongman

Yeah I think so too ..obviously Honey being my first record.. we tried not to put any limitations on it and not worry so much about, oh let's make sure that this falls in between these parameters. So with some of the songs I just went if I like the song and I want to put it out into the world let that be the driving force behind it... don't worry about what people are going to think or not think just have the creativity take over.


Ken Wallis

My favourite song without doubt is Paid My Dues I really like that tune.


Steve Strongman

Oh thank you..yeah we did a video for Paid My Dues which was really interesting. The concept was that you've paid your dues and put in your time so we shot it here in Hamilton at a place called the West Town and really had a lot of fun..that's to me like a real driving kind of a blues tune and you know that one it's from the heart so I'm really happy with how it turned out.



Ken Wallis

And also on the album is a cover of an Al Green tune that you've played a lot at shows.


Steve Strongman

I've played that song a long, long time and I never even really considered putting it onto the record. The song is called Let's Stay together and I've always loved the tune and I would play it in so many of my shows and a lot of times people would come up and say I can't believe you do that...like it's a different kind of song to be doing and why don't you record it. I remember thinking yeah well maybe if the time is right...so when we were in Nashville we decided to record that one and when we listened back in the speakers I was like I think this is going to make the record. It’s something I don't often do which is record other people's songs


Ken Wallis

You mentioned that you were at the I.B.C. and you won the guitarist of the year award. Not only did you get the award, but also you got a cigar box guitar. Have you been playing it?



Steve Strongman

I have been playing it. It's a very different thing..obviously it doesn't have frets so you just play with slide and I've been thinking about trying to incorporate it in into some of my shows..obviously pre covid. So I'll get back to it now that I've got some time to spend with it.. I'm going to see what I can do with it


Ken Wallis

Also you've got a live event coming up that's going to be streamed. It's Songs For Food and Shelter. Can you tell us all about that?


Steve Strongman

Yeah that was pretty amazing how it came up. It's a really great idea to help some of the homeless people and people that find themselves on tougher times right now. and Alec Fraser that was really his idea and he's done one already. He actually asked me if I would play a song so he came here and we social distanced and we recorded two songs ..two videos to help go along with that so I was really happy with the way it turned out. He's working really hard on it and it's nice to be a part of that project.

Ken Wallis

And when will that be streamed?


Steve Strongman

I believe that one is the beginning of December....December the 7th.. people can find out as we'll make sure we add a link and people can see where it is.


Ken Wallis

And Steve I guess the most important thing is where can folks get a hold of your Tired Of Talking release?


Steve Strongman

Well now everything is going to go through the Stony Plain website so you can find it.. there'll be links. You can still get some of my stuff from my website but we're really directing everything through Stony Plain. The whole entire catalog will be there and available.


Ken Wallis

Well Steve I think this is really great becoming involved with Stony Plain records.. it's a real feather in your cap and it's well deserved.


Steve Strongman

Thank you so much...I really appreciate it and it's nice to be able to continue to work really hard on music in a different capacity at this time and I'm really excited to move forward with them.


Ken Wallis

Steve Strongman, thank you so much for joining us. And hopefully we'll be able to see you perform live in the near future.


Steve Strongman

I really hope so. That would be great. Obviously, all of us want to do the same thing which is to try and get back to enjoying music and the energy that comes from a live performance but hopefully that'll come sooner rather than later.


Ken Wallis

Thanks Steve


Steve Strongman

Thank you Ken.




Website: stevestrongman.com

Stony Plain Records: stonyplainrecords.com

Linus Entertainment: linusentertainment.com





Award winning bluesman Steve Strongman has joined forces with Linus Entertainment, in a multi-faceted deal that sees the Hamilton based company globally representing his music publishing catalog, and the distribution of his sound recording catalog, as well as future recordings and songwriting. Said Strongman about the new deal, “Songwriting has always held a special place in my career. It’s always evolving for me and it’s something that I continue to work at. I’m very excited that I have an opportunity to focus on developing further as a songwriter with this affiliation with Linus Entertainment.” Strongman has been delighting audiences around the world with his take on the blues for decades, liberally applying swampy swagger and sweetness to shuffles, ballads, and four-on-the-floor chuggers alike. Now seven albums deep, Strongman is already well known as a solo artist within the blues community. “I believe Steve has what it takes to be a world-class creative force in the blues scene,” shares Geoff Kulawick, President of Linus Entertainment. “We will be utilizing his strength as a songwriter, introducing him as a producer, collaborator and co-writer to our Stony Plain Records affiliated artists as well as artists on other labels.” “One thing that we bring to the table are connections,” says Rob Brown, Linus Entertainment’s Manager of Music Publishing. “We see an opportunity for Steve to work with the world’s best blues and roots artists, many who we already happen to be doing business with. We’re eager to see what opening those doors will lead to.” A new album from Strongman is in the works and will be released alongside his back catalog on the Linus affiliated roots and blues label, Stony Plain Records.

 

 

 

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