Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown, 'The Devil To Pay,' Ruf Records (REVIEW)
If Brian Jones never did drugs and kept his Rolling Stones a blues band, 50 years later they'd be Savoy Brown. Kim Simmonds started his band in Great Britain right around the same time that Jones started his. In fact, the 1960s in England was a hotbed of young rock 'n' roll bands trying to copy Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Jimmy Reed, just to name three. From the Stones, Savoy Brown, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac, The Animals, hell, even Jethro Tull and The Kinks played blues at first. Only Simmonds, out of all of them, has had a single-minded altruistic fervor for continuing to play this one singular style of music: Chicago blues. On The Devil To Play (Ruf Records), he does it again...for the 45th time. This one has hotshots Pat DeSalvo (bass) and Garnet Grimm (drums) to fill in the spaces between Simmonds' guitar, vocals, harmonica, compositions and production.
Highlights include the "Snakin'" instrumental, a groovy shuffle ("Watch My Woman"), a laced with guilt ode to the almighty hangover ("I've Been Drinking") and the nightmare of loving a slut ("Stop Throwing Your Love Around") that's guaranteed to give anyone the blues.
You've got to hand it to Kim Simmonds. Savoy Brown was Cream's opening act at its first London show. From jamming with Jimi to releasing three of the greatest early '70s Brit albums (1970's Raw Sienna, 1971's Street Corner Talking and 1972's Hellbound Train), Simmonds has kept that flame burning without an elongated absence.
You can catch Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown playing these same blues between now and the first of the year.
Oct. 1 - Austin, TX
Oct. 2 - San Antonio, TX
Oct. 3 - Conroe, TX
Oct. 14 - Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 15 - Des Moines, IA
Oct. 16 - Kansas City, MO
Oct. 17 - Edwardsville, IL
Oct. 31 - Buffalo, NY
Nov. 6 - Blanox, PA
Nov. 7 - Ferndale, MI
Nov. 18 - Dortmund, Germany
Dec. 12 - Beacon, NY
Jan. 21, 2016 - Rock Legends Cruise departing Fort Lauderdale, FL