Listening to the blues is always a roller coaster of emotions. A great blues song can let you feel the singer’s pain, or make you smile and realize how fantastic life can be. Being a 52-year-old band, Savoy Brown flaunts their experience and tugs at the heartstrings and the cheekbones with each track on their newest release, Witchy Feelin’.
This album comes to us a half-century after their debut release, Shake Down. Thirty albums and countless tours later, they’ve honed their craft to show that they are one of the best blues acts around. That experience shines in the sheer grittiness of this album, which only begins to describe the feeling this band delivers from start to finish.
The opening track asks the question “Why Did You Hoodoo Me?” and their query will rattle around in your head all week. This eerie, dirty love song washes over you with its bouncy bass, fiery guitar licks and inquisitive chorus; you’ll find yourself humming throughout the day. “Livin’ on the Bayou” slows things down with its laid back tempo and soaring guitar from Kim Simmonds. Pat DeSalvo’s bass invokes a swampy Louisiana feel underneath Kim’s licks. Things pick up again with “I Can’t Stop The Blues,” which balances the thin line between crisp and dirty. Drummer Garnet Grimm really shines in this track and fills the room with his incredible cadence.
Things get slowed down quite a bit with the title track, “Witchy Feelin’.” The trio takes their time with this one and “Standing in a Doorway” before kicking up the pace with higher energy songs like “Guitar Slinger” and “Vintage Man.” These two quicker tracks really showcase Kim’s ability to express himself through his guitar. “Memphis Blues” is one of the catchiest songs on the album and a great boogie song that will have you nodding your head in agreement with the band.
“Close to Midnight” is the final track on the album and a fantastic instrumental that swirls around a jazzy beat and some Clapton-esque playing from Kim. The 8-minute behemoth that is “Thunder, Lightning & Rain” is where the band really shines with a throbbing bass from DeSalvo, incredible drums from Grimm and non-stop wah-wah from Kim. This song is a masterpiece and really shows their 50 years of experience as a band.
Kim Simmonds is no stranger to being on the road. As an original member, he was on stage with the band when they opened for Cream’s very first live show in London. Savoy Brown starts their 2017 New York State run in Rochester on November 25 and Buffalo on November 26. They make their way into Albany’s Upper Room on December 8 and also will be at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY on December 16.
Key Tracks: Why Did you HooDoo Me?, I Can’t Stop The Blues, Memphis Blues, Thunder, Lightning & Rain