Exclusive: An Interview With 2018 JUNO Nominee Steve Strongman

By: Kat Harlton

Hamilton based artist Steve Strongman is revered as a top Canadian blues musician. Aside from his JUNO awards and nominations, Strongman has played major blues festivals the world over including Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Memphis, TN, with opening stints for guitar legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy.

“I’ve been really lucky to have some moments that stand out for me. One of those ‘aha’ moments was when I opened up for Buddy Guy in Hamilton. Being from Hamilton, being on that stage which at the time was Hamilton Place, was just an absolutely wonderful place to play music. To be able to play in front of a legend like that in my hometown was really really great. At the end of my performance, so many people were lined up to buy Cd’s that they had to come out and tell everyone to go and sit down because Buddy Guy was coming out.”


Strongman is nominated for a 2018 Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year for his record No Time Like Now, a 10-track collection created as a shout-out to a lifelong love of blues from rough-hewn electric to hushed heartfelt ballads. The album’s title track and lead single is an anthem to making the most of the moment, a sentiment that flows throughout the rest of the album.  “I was sort of feeling from an artist perspective that I wanted to do a different record. We wanted to push the boundaries on what people consider Blues. To me, that’s something that a lot of artists don’t do enough of. People have an idea of what blues is and what it should be, and we wanted to push that by focusing a lot more on guitar, drums and percussion, sort of that harder edgy blues stuff.”

Strongman’s desire to push the boundaries and introduce more people to blues music, comes from his continued passion and love for his craft “You have to be really, really certain that this is what you want to do. You better make sure that this is your absolute passion, and realize that it’s all about hard work. It almost sounds to simple to be just that, but it really is. Also, write as much as you can, that was always something everyone told me and something I didn’t do until later. Writing is paramount, it’s a huge part of your income stream and that’s where it’s at, it’s all about the songs.”

To discover more of Strongman’s music, visit: https://www.stevestrongman.com

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