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Review: "Witchy Feelin'" - Savoy Brown

by Andy Snipper,

Not many bands active today have their origins in the mid-sixties and even fewer are actually recording new music.

Savoy Brown formed as the Savoy Brown Blues Band in 1965 and have a former member list that is essentially a who’s who of British Blues. The one constant though is guitarist and vocalist Kim Simmonds and the current line up with Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm playing drums has been around since 2009.

This album – if memory serves, their 4th for Ruf records – sees the sound of the band getting darker and thicker, almost miasmic, as they develop a sort of voodoo Blues sound.

Looking at this album in isolation to their history is difficult – they are one of the constants of British Blues and as such they have written most of the rules for the genre. But if I ask myself the important question “do I want to listen again after the review?” I would have to say a very firm “Yes”.

Simmonds voice definitely sounds older and less positive than it once did but he has tempered his writing to suit his voice today and matching that with a guitar style that is positive and hard-edged, classic riffery and crying solos, keeps the music driving and give the listener a real thrill. DeSalvo and Grimm deliver a fine bottom line, seemingky perfectly able to switch between a power Blues such as ‘Guitar Slinger’ or a New Orleans groove in ‘Livin’ On The Bayou’.

Simmonds delivers some fine slide on ‘Standing In A Doorway’, a lovely reflective number with real soul and blisters the ears on the opening to the monumental ‘Thunder, Lightning & Rain’ before it develops into a hypnotic groove that works its way into your heartbeat.

Savoy Brown have never been a band for hit singles but they have always stood for something classic and this album definitely carries their heritage onwards.