Legendary .... a blues/rock institution .... true innovators. These are just a few of the ways Savoy Brown has been described over the past 47 years by music critics and fans.
One of the earliest of British blues bands, with founder guitarist Kim Simmonds at the helm, Savoy Brown helped launch the 1967 UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the USA and invigorated the style from then on. In the process, the band became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970’s. Their influence now stretches into modern rock as we know it today.
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 left to form their own group, Foghat.
Kim 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 Corner 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.
After the successful run of the early to mid 70's, Kim 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" to the hard-hitting "Rock And Roll Warriors" appeared. All were eagerly accepted by the fans.
A three record deal with Crescendo in 1987 took the band into more of a rock direction, with records such as "Live 'n' Kicking" placing the group in a live setting, where they've always excelled.
In the '90's, "Let It Ride" was released. Kim enlisted Pete McMahon for vocal and harmonica duties in 1994 and added ex-Robert Cray drummer Dave Olsen to record "Bring It Home" for Viceroy. This set the tone for the next five years.
Nathaniel Peterson was brought in to handle bass playing and singing in the late 1990s. After touring the world extensively for three years, "The Blues Keep Me Holding On” was released in 1999 by Mystic Music. This modern blues record brought the band's epic music journey full circle.
With new goals in mind, Kim Simmonds took over vocal duties in 2001, leading to the 2003 release, "Strange Dreams", on Blind Pig Records. This was a hit with critics, and fans alike. Kim, as front man vocalist, fit the times perfectly. Changing into a three piece classic blues/rock outfit in 2006 and still doing double duty as guitarist and vocalist, Kim released the bands 30th album “Steel.”
In 2009, after nearly a decade of singing lead vocals, but wanting to concentrate again on his guitar playing, Simmonds brought in Joe Whiting as lead singer. The band thus became a four-piece aggregation with Garnet Grimm on drums and Pat DeSalvo playing bass. The new changes coincided with the release of a retrospective album “Too Much of a Good Thing” that covered the years 1992-2007.
The year 2011 brings the release of "Voodoo Moon" (November, Ruf Records) with this album showing good early sales, and reviews, to date.
The year 2012 sees Joe Whiting leaving the band late in the year.
The year 2013 likely brings a new album and the release of a live CD/DVD package recorded in Germany during May 2012.
So, from London’s Soho night clubs in 1966 to headlining the world’s most famous venues (Carnegie Hall, Fillmore’s East and West, Cobo Hall, etc.), you have Savoy Brown doing it all. The band continues to tour worldwide and they give a glimpse into the past, but also inspire new listeners with their personal brand of rocking boogie, blues and rock.