Monday, 3 February 2014
Featured Artist - Kim Simmonds
When still a young teenager Kim Simmonds learned to play from listening to his brother's blues records.
At the age of 19 Simmonds formed Savoy Brown in 1966. Explosive live performances eventually led to Savoy Brown signing with Decca. But it was 1969 before its classic line-up gelled around Simmonds, guitarist "Lonesome" Dave Peverett and monocle and bowler hat-wearing vocalist Chris Youlden. That year's Blue Matter and A Step Further albums conjured up at least three classics heard on The Best Of Savoy Brown: "Train To Nowhere," the live show-stopper "Louisiana Blues" (a Muddy Waters number) and "I'm Tired." Since its first US visit, Savoy Brown has criss-crossed the country, and "I'm Tired" became the group's first hit single across the ocean. The band would find a greater reception in America than in its native England throughout its career.
1970's Raw Sienna followed, featuring A Hard Way To Go and Stay While The Night Is Still Young. When Youlden then departed for a solo career, Lonesome Dave took over the lead vocals. Looking In, also in 1970, featured not only "Poor Girl" and "Money Can't Save Your Soul" but one of the era's memorable LP covers, a troglodyte-like savage staring into an eye socket of a monstrous skull. Later, Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens and drummer Roger Earl left to form the immensely successful but decidedly rock band Foghat. Simmonds soldiered on, recruiting from blues band Chicken Shackn keyboardist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Silvester and drummer Dave Bidwell, and from the Birmingham club circuit the vocalist Dave Walker.
The new lineup was a hit. On stage in America, the group was supported by Rod Stewart and The Faces. On the album Street Corner Talking (1971) and Hellbound Train (1972) launched favorites "Tell Mama", "Street Corner Talking", a cover of the Temptations' Motown standard "I Can't Get Next To You" and the nine-minute epic "Hellbound Train" (decades later Love & Rockets adapted it as "Bound For Hell"). Walker then quit to join Fleetwood Mac, pre-Buckingham/Nicks.
In 1997, Simmonds released his first solo acoustic album, entitled Solitaire. He continues to tour worldwide with various configurations of Savoy Brown - of particular note is the 2004 live set You Should Have Been There, recorded in early 2003 in Vancouver with Simmonds himself handling lead vocals - and also as a solo acoustic act. In 2011 he celebrated 45 years of touring with the Savoy Brown album Voodoo Moon.
As leader of Savoy Brown, he has released over 50 albums. He is also a painter, and the cover of his 2008 solo release "Out of the Blue" features his original art.