Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown play the blues on ‘Devil to Pay’

Savoy Brown‘The Devil to Pay’
Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown (Ruf)
3.5 stars out of 5

Acclaimed British blues outfit Savoy Brown, led by talented guitarist Kim Simmonds, celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. With more than three dozen albums to their credit, the band could be forgiven for resting on their laurels — but Simmonds and Savoy Brown are back with a brand-new album in “The Devil to Pay.”

Savoy Brown CD“When I started this band back in 1965, the concept was to be a British version of a Chicago blues band,” Simmonds, 67, explains. “And the exciting thing now is that vision is still alive. Do I have anything left to prove? Perhaps not to other people, but to myself, yes. There’s always, inside of you, a song not written or a new guitar lick waiting to come out. I still have the drive I had when I was young, and that keeps the dream going.”

Band members have cycled through Savoy Brown over the years, with Simmonds the lone constant. The current incarnation includes bassist Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grim. It’s a potent lineup that shines throughout the 13-track, 58-minute release.

Smoldering opener “Ain’t Got Nobody” gets the party started, with Simmonds and Savoy Brown also flying high on “Grew Up in the Blues,” “When Love Goes Wrong,” the title track, “Stop Throwing Your Love Around,” “Got an Awful Feeling,” “I’ve Been Drinking” and Whiskey Headed Baby.” (Jeffrey Sisk)

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