The Devil To Pay
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown
Ruf Records 2015
Review by David Bowling
The career of Savoy Brown reached the 50 year mark last year. Their sound may have matured but it is still an elemental fusion of blues and rock. The constant has been guitarist and now vocalist Kim Simmonds who has been with the group since its founding in 1965.
Somewhere in the last five years or so, Simmonds must have received a rejuvenation injection as the bands career has undergone a revival of sorts. Songs From The Road (2013) and Goin’ To The Delta (2014) helped revive the groups creative juices. The Devil To Pay continues this string of very good releases as it is a stripped down affair of basic rock and blues.
Simmonds voice shows its years but is has a nice bluesy patina. His guitar work has always been among the best of his generation and he has lost none of his technical ability and overall brilliance.
Many times it is the slow blues songs that define an artists ability and creativity. “Ain’t Got Nobody” and “Got An Awful Feeling” just percolate along, always threatening to explode, but ultimately maintaining a control and tension that are at the heart of the blues.
Tracks such as “Stop Throwing Your Love Around,” “Evil Eye,” “Bad Weather Brewing,” and “Snakin'” have an excellent energy that is a credit to a band that has embarked on their sixth decade.
At this point in their existence, Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown are not going to change the musical landscape but they have managed to create an album of relevant modern day blues.