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Savoy Brown leader likes the "challenge" of going solo

of the Oakland Press

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Thanks to his band Savoy Brown’s regular trips through town, Kim Simmonds is no stranger to Detroit. It’s even, he says, “the first American city we had big success in the ’60s, when we started touring (in America).”

But his performances as an acoustic solo artist, which he’ll be doing next week at Callahan’s in Auburn Hills, are still something entirely different.

“I like to challenge myself,” explains Simmonds, 62, who through Savoy Brown has been something of a mentor to future members of Foghat, Fleetwood Mac, the Kinks, UFO and more. “I think I’ve done that all throughout my life, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. You can make it harder on yourself, you know?

“But I like to exist on that level. I don’t like to be too comfortable. I never have. I think the reason I’ve had a long career is I’ve done things other people wouldn’t do. You have to have (guts) to get on stage with a guitar, yourself, and do it like that.”

Simmonds, who’s also a painter, has released a pair of solo albums, most recently “Out of the Blue” in 2008. And being on his own, he contends, only helps to improve his music for Savoy Brown, too.

“The new material I’m writing, I would not have gone there if I’d not had a solo career, too,” says Simmonds, who hopes to record and release a new Savoy Brown album in 2011. “I spent a lot of time at home working and practicing; I may not get it right, but I’m still there, working hard.

“You figure out that you can’t just get from A to Z. There has to be a middle. That’s part and parcel where the solo thing works for me; it helps me develop and it’s going to help me reach what I want to get to.”

Kim Simmonds and Carl Henry perform Thursday, Nov. 4, at Callahan’s Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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