The Hillary Step
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The Hillary Step

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Band Pop Acoustic




"The Hillary Step: Note to Self"

"Whatever the case may be, Hillary Step put the rock in acoustic rock, along with plenty of melody and harmony. Think Rembrandts in mountain climbing gear reaching new heights..." - BMF - Bill's Music Forum

"The Hillary Step "Knee Deep in Giants""

Another one of those "it-ain't-power-pop-but-I-like-it" reviews: Named after a nearly vertical part of Mount Everest, The Hillary Step is a folk pop duo. It consists of Rob Schiffmann and Jon Rothstein, with a capable supporting cast. Their album, "Knee Deep in Giants" has some really gorgeous moments. The single "Olio" is a great song that rivals the best of Dan Fogelberg or Kenny Loggins. The albums opener, "Meanwhile" is another gem and a great example of the harmony filled greatness they possess. "The Only Thing" is a country-flavored pop tune that is also downright catchy, like classic Toad The Wet Sprocket. The production is slick, yet clean and lets the voices shine through perfectly. Occasionally, the songwriting is brilliant, telling compelling stories with great vocalizing like "Jackie" and "Midnight 1958." You will find bits of classic Paul Simon mixed with lounge AOR-styled pop here as in "Coffee in Bed" with a vocal by Suzanne Morris. But some songs still border on the maudlin with Kenny G styled sax flourishes, like "Shine all your love." However, the good easily outweight any bad here. The Hillary Step website has lots of great content too (Better than 95% of the artist with sites). Worth the trip, really. -

"The Hillary Step "Note 2 Self""

The Hillary Step (Rob Schiffmann and Jon Rothstein) continue to work melodic magic on 'Note 2 Self'. The wonderful opener "Tell Me You Love Me" works its masterful chorus into your head effortlessly with smart key changes at just the right moment. The guitar compositions on "All I've Got" and especially "Answers" are reminiscent of The Rembrandts in spots.

It shifts gears with a piano ballad in "For The Moment," with its captivating acoustic solo at the break. And the ballads really resonate, like the son's plea to his father on "What Are We Waiting For" and "Quietness Of Love" - both full of emotion and honest lyrics. The compositions vary in style, but it's impossible to dismiss the quality of these songs. Fans of Andrew Gold and Dan Fogelberg will also enjoy this immensely. -

"Harmony-Soaked Gems"

"...they turn out quirky, hook-rich, harmony-soaked gems" -- Jeff Breithaupt - Pop-Life

"A Musical Triumph"

The band, with a mixture of original lyrics, enchanting truly a musical triumph - J. Whitney - Time Out


Knee Deep in Giants (self-released AUG'00)
Note to Self (self-released JAN'11)

web-only demos and live tracks available at



The Hillary Step may be most comfortably categorized as an acoustic pop band, but that label exists only as a point of departure for a duo that produces innovative, forward-thinking music for the intelligently–inclined masses. The band’s distinctive songs seamlessly integrate a rock ‘n roll soul with a lyrical essence. The Hillary Step consistently delivers accessible pop flavor, successfully blending stunning, straightforward melodies with clever and complex lyrics that are immediately relatable.

Both as recording artists and as a live act, The Hillary Step has built a loyal following throughout New England, the Midwest, and primarily around their home base of New York City. Their exciting live shows, featuring the duo and their band, have taken the stage at such popular venues as Central Park Summer Stage, The Bitter End, Arlene’s Grocery, Caffe Vivaldi, Kenny’s Castaways and The Lion’s Den.

The Hillary Step features Rob Schiffmann (guitar, vocals, songwriting, et al) and Jon Rothstein (bass, vocals, songwriting). Friends since childhood, the two reunited after college and began their musical collaboration as the duo Urban Badlands. After the addition of several band members, the group took on the impressive moniker of The Hillary Step (def.: the rock face considered the last true summit and challenge prior to reaching the top of Mount Everest). After recording their latest CD "Note 2 Self" (with all instruments played by Rob and all vocals performed by Rob, Jon and gust vocalist, Annie Schiffmann), Rob and Jon resumed their journey as a duo, playing live shows with the able assistance of Ale de Vries (drums), Rachel Dart (back-up vocals) and Eric March (keyboards).

The Hillary Step’s two CD’s “Knee Deep in Giants” and the brand new “Note 2 Self” are available on iTunes and on their website -

Band Members