The Devil To Pay By Kim Simmonds And Savoy Brown

March 21, 2016


The career of Savoy Brown reached the 50 year mark last year. Their sound may have matured but it is still an elemental fusion of blues and rock. The constant has been guitarist and now vocalist Kim Simmonds who has been with the group since its founding in 1965.

Somewhere in the last five years or so, Simmonds must have received a rejuvenation injection as the bands career has undergone a revival of sorts. Songs From The Road (2013) and Goin’ To The Delta (2014) helped revive the groups creative juices. The Devil To Pay continues this string of very good releases as it is a stripped down affair of basic rock and blues.

Simmonds voice shows its years but is has a nice bluesy patina. His guitar work has always been among the best of his  generation and he has lost none of his technical ability  and overall brilliance.

Many times it is the slow blues songs that define an artists ability and creativity. “Ain’t Got Nobody” and “Got An Awful Feeling” just percolate along, always threatening to explode, but ultimately maintaining a control and tension that are at the heart of the blues.

Tracks such as “Stop Throwing Your Love Around,” “Evil Eye,” “Bad Weather Brewing,” and “Snakin’” have an excellent energy that is a credit to a band that has embarked on their sixth decade.

At this point in their existence, Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown are not going to change the musical landscape but they have managed to create an album of relevant modern day blues.

Voodoo Moon by Savoy Brown

November 9, 2011

I have lost track of Savoy Brown a number of times down through the years, sometimes for a decade or so at a stretch. They recently caught my attention again, though, as the band, under the leadership of founding member Kim Simmonds, were once again touring extensively and making regular trips to the recording studio.

Simmonds founded TheSavoy Brown Blues Band way back in the mid-’60s. Now 45 years and over 30 albums into their career, they have continued to produce their brand of heavy rock/blues fusion. Their latest release is Voodoo Moon.

Since the band’s formation there have been close to 50 musicians passing through the lineup, with Simmonds being the only constant. Today his band mates include saxophonist/vocalist Joe Whiting, bassist Pat DeSalvo, and drummer Garnet Grimm. Additional musicians include keyboardist Andy Rudy and percussionist Ron Keck. Simmonds wrote or co-wrote, with Whiting, all nine of the new album’s tracks.

At this point,Savoy Brown are who they are, still enjoying a career spent living, loving, and playing the blues. Voodoo Moon continues in that vein as they deliver more polished music for aficionados of hard-rocking electric blues. Songs such as the crunching “She’s Got The Heat” and the blistering instrumental “24/7” are the newest entries into their large catalogue. Throw in “Shockwaves,” the title track, and “Meet The Blues Head On,” and you have the makings of one of the band’s better albums.

In speaking of Savoy Brown, the topic always returns to Kim Simmonds. In fact, this album began at his White College Studio, and was finished and mastered at SubCat Studio in upstate New York. He has always been an underrated guitarist and here his chops and licks are as creative as ever.

Voodoo Moon proves thatSavoy Brown remains relevant as a band, one which continues to produce good music well into their extensive career. If you are already a fan, or just curious about what they’ve been up to lately, then this album will be a treat.

Article first published as Music Review: Savoy Brown – Voodoo Moon on Blogcritics.