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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Quarto Valley Records artist: Savoy Brown - Blues All Around - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues All Around, from Savoy Brown and I think it's their best in years. Opening with Falling Through, Kim Simmonds sets the pace of the set with some authentic delta style riffs on electric guitar breaking into a classic boogie style rocker. With Simmonds on vocal and lead guitar, this band has more miles than most anyone short of the Stones. Simmonds, who passed away in December has held the blues rock boogie torch for 57 years and has released 42 albums...yes...42. Having personally seen at least 4 or 5 different lineups of Savor Brown (all with Simmonds), I have been a long time fan. On Going Down South, Simmonds pulls out the slide and this is a guy who really knew how to play it. From some of the best days of the band in the 70's and Tell Mama to now, Simmonds shows a super command and feel for slide guitar. Due to Peripheral Neuropathy as a side effect of chemotherapy Kim plays quite a bit more slide on this release and I'm glad he did. His approach to the instrument is strong and certainly influenced splinter group, and slide driven, Foghat who leaned more into rock. Gypsy Healer glows with Simmonds' notable Marshall tone and his harmonica and of course the always solid bottom provided by Garnet Grimm on drums and Pat DeSalvo on bass. Texas Love has great swagger with Simmonds really sitting in the groove on rhythm guitar and his lead work is well phrased. Just listen to that guitar tone on Hurting Spell and you know why people love Simmonds. One of my criticisms on modern Savoy Brown has been Kim's vocals but with each release he seemed to get more comfortable as he molded his vocals to work well with the band. His slide work on this track is fat and classic. Can't Go Back To My Hometown has a great Latin feel, not unlike fellow UK contemporary Peter Green on his composition, Black Magic Woman. I think that Simmond's lead phrasing is every bit as juicy as Green's on the original BMW and it's great to hear Kim soloing with reckless abandon once again.  Wrapping the release is acoustic blues, Falling Through The Cracks, with Simmonds accompanying himself with that classic delta styling and a fitting way for such a great guy to close his life long love of the blues. 

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