Strongman Blues Remedy are about to muscle their way onto the scene with their debut album Volume 1 — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Conceived by producer, songwriter and artist Steve Strongman, the new collective features a veritable who’s who of the blues, including Dawn Tyler Watson, Crystal Shawanda, Steve Marriner, Jesse O’Brien, Alec Fraser and Harrison Kennedy — as heard and seen on their latest single and video I Like To Ride.
“I’ve always had an idea to get together with some of my friends and start a blues collective,” says Strongman. “Every person on this project has been so supportive. Each one said ‘Yes’ immediately, almost before I could even finish telling them about the idea.”
With seven albums as a solo artist — plus a Juno, the Mel Brown Blues Award, an International Blues Challenge’s Best Guitarist prize, four Maple Blues Awards and more in his collection — Strongman is an acclaimed bluesman known for liberally applying swampy swagger and sweetness to shuffles, blues ballads, and four-on-the-floor chuggers alike.
But Strongman Blues Remedy, Volume 1 is the Hamilton musician’s first time producing, a process he calls “a huge learning curve, but incredibly rewarding … I’ve learned so much in my career, having worked with great producers like Rob Szabo and Dave King, and I leaned on them heavily during this process.”
By conducting songwriting sessions with a stellar cast of award-worthy Canadian artists, he developed an album that touches on a wide cross-section of experiences and viewpoints. “I approached writing these songs with no parameters in mind,” he says. “I let the songs develop over time, and then decided how to present them. Usually I’m trying to juggle touring and, as a result, I’m under time deadlines in the studio. It was nice to be able to step back and allow these songs to breathe.” The result is an expansive 10-track document with one overarching message: The best remedy for the world we’re living in right now is to fill it with music that celebrates life.
Strongman Blues Remedy, Volume 1 arrives June 17 via Stony Plain Records. Watch the video for I Like To Ride above, sample more music from the band below, and catch them at their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.