Savoy Brown

REVIEW: Savoy Brown “Blues All Around”


Savoy Brown is a British blues rock band with a long history and deep roots that have grown ever since they initially formed in 1965.  They have a new album out February 17, Blues All Around, available on Quarto Valley Records. This album constitutes the posthumous release for founder Kim Simmonds, who wrote every song on this album, which came together before the sad news of Simmonds’ passing two months ago. It was produced by Simmonds with a layered recording approach, at engineer Ron Keck’s suggestion, and Simmonds played slide guitar when his fingers were struggling with the side effects of the chemo he was undergoing over the last year.

“Falling Through” is a 47 second intro that opens the album with slow, electric blues and the simple line, “Falling Through” repeated at intervals.  Then, the first song of the album is a straight up blues rocker, “Black Heart,” as it asks — “why do you fool with me? I still need your lovin’, I’m never gonna be free.”

“Going Down South” digs deep in the groove with a light harmonica and an ode to the rolling Mississippi.  “Gypsy Healer” offers steadier fare with a request for a sign of good news from that elusive gypsy healer: “I got to know that I’ll be seeing better times.”

“Texas Love” is a love song with another gritty, low end groove.  “Can’t Go Back to My Hometown” is a step down song, built up from an electric guitar melody and lots of powerful electric guitar solos, “I’m walking alone with my heart hanging down.”

Good rockin’ blues all through the album are made even sweeter with the knowledge that this was Kim Simmonds’ last album.  Buy it for that reason, because it’s a piece of history, and play it because the music will warm your soul and hold it down with an abundance of grooves.

Musicians on the album are Kim Simmonds on guitar, vocals, organ and harmonica; Garnet Grimm on drums and percussion; Pat DeSalvo on bass.

Blues All Around was produced by Kim Simmonds, with executive producer Bruce Quarto, supervising producer for QVR Mike Carden, and pre-production assistance by John Shelmet.  The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ron Keck; and recorded in Syracuse, NY at Subcat Studios. All songs on the album were written By Kim Simmonds

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