A chance meeting between two musicians at a record shop in England in 1965 led to the formation of one of the most enduring of all the bands from the Golden Age of music. And all these years later, Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds is making an emphatic statement with the release of AIN’T DONE YET. Savoy Brown has been and continues to be a synonym for the term blues rock.
What started with the chance encounter between Kim Simmonds and harmonica player John O’Leary resulted in the release of Shake Down in 1967. They were then known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band and kicked out a mix of blues covers and a couple of instrumentals including High Rise, that I still love.
Over the years, a literal who’s who of rock and blues artists have spent time with the band including bluesmen Hubert Sumlin, Paul Oscher, and Duke Robillard. For the latest album, long time band members Pat DeSalvo (bass) and Garnet Grimm (drums) help flesh out a tight trio of rhythmic sound that is a perfect compliment to the vocals and both harmonica and guitar playing by Kim.
On this, their 41st recording, the band continues a hit run of releases in the last ten years. Voodoo Moon (2011), The Devil to Pay (2015), Witchy Feelin’ (2017), and City Nights (2019) are all great blues rock albums. AIN’T DONE YET is a bit more introspective with the title cut, Borrowed Time, All Gone Wrong, and Devil’s Highway addressing Kim’s blues rockin’ observations from a long life. I loved the guitar tones and easy rhythms of Feel Like a Gypsy. Jaguar Car is some badass boogie about how men identify with their cars.
Rocking In Louisiana is about my birthplace and long time home and Kim’s love for the state where the music he loves was born. He plays a steel dobro to give it a “down the bayou” feel and it works to perfection! To close out the album, Kim chose an instrumental, Crying Guitar. All of Savoy Brown’s albums have included at least one instrumental and this one is another blues rock jewel.
Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds damn sure aren’t done yet! And I, for one, am mighty pleased!
Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds – Ain’t Done Yet (2020 Quarto Valley Records)
Ben Vee is an internet DJ and writer from New Orleans that now lives in Connecticut with his wife Annette. He started spinning records back in the 1970’s and has been writing about the roadhouse blues since 2011. He does two roadhouse blues shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and he writes about the blues when the urge strikes on http://www.benveeblues.com.