Ain’t Done Yet
Quarto Valley Records
The British blues band Savoy Brown was formed by Kim Simmonds in 1965. Their U.K. debut was 1967’s “Shake Down” featuring originals mixed with extended length covers of songs by Willie Dixon; B.B. King; Albert King, and John Lee Hooker. Savoy Brown began to achieve success in the U.S. in 1971, with the release of their seventh recording “Street Corner Talking” and the hit single “Tell Mama”. The following year the band released their most successful album “Hellbound Train”. Simmonds who has been called ‘the godfather of British blues-rock” also records under his own name. He has since relocated to upstate New York
This is Savoy Brown’s 41st album but only their second for the relatively new California based Quarto Valley Records. Their last album was 2019’s “City Lights”. Founder Bruce Quarto says “QVR is honored to continue working with Savoy Brown… everyone who hears it will immediately agree that Savoy Brown ain’t nowhere near done yet”. Together since 2009 Simmonds, guitar, harmonica and vocals; is accompanied by the rhythm section of bassist Pat DeSalvo, and drummer Garnet Grimm. Produced by Simmonds the album was recorded, mixed and mastered by the late Ben Elliott at his Showplace Studios in Dover, N.J.
All the songs were written by Simmonds. Simmonds states that the opener “All Gone Wrong” is about someone reflecting on their past and feeling that life hasn’t worked out as expected. That theme is further explored on one of my favorite’s “Devil’s Highway”, as the rhythm section lays down the strong foundation for Simmonds’ vocal and solo. “Borrowed Time” is about an elder contemplating their own mortality as Simmonds sings “never thought to myself I’d be around so long”.
The topical “River on the Rise” features the lyric “rain on the mountain” as Simmonds plays slide. The title track features Simmonds punctuating the lyric with his guitar; while the slow blues “Feels Like A Gypsy” includes a longer more evocative solo.
Two more favorites are “Jaguar Car”, a John Lee Hooker styled boogie, with Simmonds on both guitar and harmonica. While “Rocking in Louisiana” is about going to New Orleans just to have a good time; Simmonds’ dobro giving the tune a traditional sound.
“I still have plenty of energy and I have never stopped enjoying entertaining” says Savoy Brown’s Simmonds who is still a source of inspiration. He is very much needed in these crazy times.