GUITAR & VOCALS: Kim
Legendary....a blues/rock institution....true innovators....These are just a few of the ways SAVOY BROWN has been described over the past thirty years by music critics and fans.
One of the earliest of British blues bands, SAVOY BROWN (with founder guitarist and longtime member Kim Simmonds at the helm) helped launch the UK blues/rock movement that paved the way for such acts as Led Zeppelin.
The band recorded their first singles for Mike Vernon's Purdah label in 1966 and quickly followed up with the landmark album Shakedown. Singer Chris Youlden joined the band in 1968 and many classic records appeared with songs such as "I'm Tired" and "Louisiana Blues" becoming radio staples. Blues/rock and boogie music always was the band's calling card and they captured, forever, the spirit of the music on the live side of A Step Further ( 1969) with a twenty minute boogie "The Savoy Brown Boogie" dedicated to fans in Detroit.
By 1971, Youlden had departed on a solo career and band members Dave Peverett, Roger Earle and Tony Stevens had left to form their own group Foghat.
Simmonds rebuilt the band using former members of the blues band Chicken Shack and vocalist Dave Walker. That year, Street Corner Talking brought the band its best chart success up to that date. "Tell Mama", "Street Comer Talking", "All I Can Do Is Cry" and the band's funky re-make of the Motown classic, "I Can't Get Next To You", took the band to platinum status and placed them in front of wildly enthusiastic rock audiences in arenas all over the world.
"It was a great time", says Simmonds "such commercial success doesn't come to everyone and I also felt we were making important music too, which made it doubly satisfying"
After the successful run of the early to mid 70's Simmonds moved operations to the USA and continued making the kind of records he wanted to make with a succession of line-ups. Records as diverse as the acoustic blues, Slow Train, on Relix and the hard rocking Rock And Roll Warriors appeared and all were eagerly accepted by the fans.
A three record deal with Crescendo, in 1987, took the band into a more rock direction, with records such as Live 'n ' Kicking placing the group in a live setting, one in which they have always excelled.
In the nineties, Let It Ride was released and then turning things around in 1994, Simmonds enlisted Pete McMahon for vocal and harmonica duties and ex Robert Gray drummer Dave Olson and recorded Bring It Home for Viceroy Records. This set the tone for the next five years.
Following that successful record, Nathaniel Peterson was brought in to handle the bass playing and singing and after touring the world extensively for three years, in 1999, The Blues Keep me Holding On was released on Mystic Music. This modern blues record brought the band's epic music journey full circle.
"The music of SAVOY BROWN has never really got that far away from the blues", Simmonds says. "Today, I can still do a show that does straight traditional blues along with rock hits like "Tell Mama" and it all seems to fit. Everything that I have done with the band has had a blues stand point to it".
Now, since the year 2001, the band line-up includes David Malachowski, Gerry Sorrentino, Dennis Cotton and is led as always by Simmonds. With more than three decades behind it, SAVOY BROWN continues to operate as a powerful and important blues/rock and boogie act, with a fan base that remains large, and a future that shines clear and bright.