Review: Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown – The Devil To Pay

Posted on: Sunday, Sep 20, 2015


Review: Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown – The Devil To Pay

(Ruf Records: RUF 1220)

This album celebrates Savoy Brown’s 50th year of gracing the British blues scene. Kim Simmonds is a highly respected pioneer of that scene and his vocals and guitar playing are suitably backed on the album by the top class rhythm section of Pat DeSalvo on bass guitar and Garnet Grimm on drums. All thirteen tracks are written by Kim Simmonds.

The album opens with the splendid slow blues, “Ain’t Got Nobody”, which features a generous helping of beautiful lead guitar work before the pace is ramped up by the fast-moving and upbeat “Bad Weather Brewing”. The excellent “Grew Up In The Blues” evokes shades of the Nick Gravenites classic, “Born In Chicago”, while the medium-paced shuffle, “When Loves Goes Wrong”, provides another fine guitar-based solo. “Oh Rosa” then delivers an increased pace and a touch of blues harp from the main man.

The title track is another upbeat rocker in contrast to the slower, steady beating “Stop Throwing Your Love Around”. “Shakin’” is a hard-driven, foot-tapping instrumental, which is followed by “Got An Awful Feeling”, another fine slow blues. The energetic rocker, “I’ve Been Drinking”, introduces a tasty dose of slide guitar to the party in advance of the fast-moving boogie, “Watch My Woman”, which boasts another terrific guitar solo. Finally, “Whiskey Headed Baby” shuffles onto the scene as a prelude to “Evil Eye”, which completes the action in fine style.

It is hugely encouraging that the British blues scene is currently awash with a plethora of richly talented youngsters but is equally wonderful that a cherished handful of performers, who created the firm foundation on which the present situation is built, is still producing little gems like this album.


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