Making a Scene Presents and Interview with Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown!
Savoy Brown was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds in 1965 in London, England. Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through the band’s newest effort, their fortieth album, to be released in 2019.
Energetic blues has been the calling card of the band from the beginning. “Blues rock” became the catch-all phrase in the late 1960s to describe the band’s music along with that of contemporaries such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. In fact, in the 2013 drama film “Jimi Hendrix: All Is By My Side”, a Savoy Brown song co-written by Simmonds was included in the sound track.
Many of the band’s singles and albums have appeared on the Billboard charts. Through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980’s songs such as “I’m Tired”, “Train to Nowhere”, “Tell Mama” and “Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone” became Hot 100 entries. Two of the band’s albums in the 1970s, “Looking In” and “Hellbound Train”, appeared on the Billboard Top Forty charts. This pattern continues today, culminating with “Witchy Feelin’”, the band’s 2017 album, reaching #1 on the Billboard Blues chart.
Along the way, Savoy Brown has toured continuously, making it one of the longest running blues/rock bands in existence. Through the years, the band has headlined concerts at many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, the Fillmore West and Royal Albert Hall in London. The band, having established national status in the 1970s, provided other groups opportunity. Kiss opened the bill on a Savoy Brown national tour as did ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers and many, many more acts.
Former members, having cut their teeth under Simmonds’ leadership, have gone on to complete their careers with other bands. Among others, these include singer Dave Walker with Fleetwood Mac, Andy Pyle with the Kinks and Paul Raymond with UFO. Three other band alumni, Lonesome Dave Peverett, Roger Earl and Tony Stevens, were founding members of the multi-platinum act Foghat.
A resident of the USA since 1980, bandleader Simmonds has received many accolades himself. These include placement on the front cover of Guitar Player magazine, enshrinement on the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame and acceptance in many regional “Halls of Fame” in the USA and Canada.
Said Simmonds, “I have always opted for a non-mainstream, yet complimentary, music route … one that would allow me personal and artistic freedom. In the end, it seems I’ve had the best of both worlds.”
Savoy Brown helped spawn the 1968 UK blues boom and later opened the eyes of many 1970s American teenagers to their own home territory blues artists. More than 50 years later, they still remain a progressive blues/rock force. The three-piece lineup includes Kim Simmonds on guitar and vocals, Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. This trio has established itself as the longest-running consistent lineup in the band’s history, now going strong for more than 10 years. Their legacy continues with the 2019 release of “City Night” on the California label, Quarto Valley Records.
Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds have a body of work that is matched by only a small portion of musical artists. As they continue to tour the world, young and old find inspiration in their timeless music, classic style and ageless performances.