Quarto Valley (label)
28 August 2020 (released)
16 July 2020
Savoy Brown and especially Kim Simmonds - are legends.
Formed in 1965, they have been a fixture of the UK Blues scene for well over 50 years and in that time their sound has changed and fluctuated as they have employed the talents of over sixty different drummers, harp players, guitarists, vocalists.
The current lineup as a three piece has been together since 2009 and features founding member Kim Simmonds on guitar and vocals, Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums and this album follows their 2019 release ‘City Night’ which got a 5* review here along with huge critical acclaim around the whole UK Blues scene.
If anything were needed to prove that artists don’t lose their power as they get older, this album is it.
It opens with a dark and powerful boogie ‘All Gone Wrong’ with Simmonds voice sounding gravelly and strong, set to a dense boogie riff and featuring a fine guitar solo. The drums and bass power the song along and there is a great sense of the band creating a groove that could go on for hours.
‘Devils Highway’ has Simmonds sounding even more dark, almost into Malcom Holcombe territory, with the song following a slower and more wistful pace. The band create a strong sense of atmosphere with some great cymbal work from Grimm and you find yourself almost mesmerised by the groove and pace of the number – this will be a great song played live.
There are ten tracks on this album and throughout the writing is good, the playing is superb and the attention to detail is top notch. Numbers like ‘Jaguar Car’ and fast paced boogie with some great slide guitar work or ‘River On The Rise’ which takes on a lighter tone and sweeter feel or ‘Feel Like A Gypsy’ with a Latin rhythm and soft feel all show the versatility of Savoy Brown in this current incarnation.
‘Crying Guitar’ follows Kim Simmonds normal feature of at least one instrumental track on every album and his playing here, on a slow Blues with a Latin touch, is gorgeous – really emotional and beautiful in turns.
The title track is a great old rocker with a Status Quo-like boogie behind it and it really does tell the story – this is a band who are still making music, still finding new ways to express themselves and playing some bloody great Blues.
As an album it definitely is there with 'City Night' - just a belter