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Interview:
Savoy Brown at the Magic Bag, 3 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Fifty-one years after blowing out of London, Savoy Brown still has the blues.

And founder Kim Simmonds couldn't be happier about that.

Since its start the blues-rock group -- which stood alongside kindred spirits such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers -- has been through more than five dozen members, including those who went on to form Foghat in 1972, and has released a continuous series of albums, up to last year's "The Devil To Pay." And even with Simmonds during 70 next month, Savoy Brown maintains a heavy road schedule worldwide.

After overcoming some health issues earlier this year, Simmonds -- who resides near Syracuse, N.Y. -- is back on his feet and on stage, happily eyeballing the next 50 years. Or so...

Despite the band's substantial heritage, Simmonds is still just as happy playing the kind of places where blues is, he feels, meant to be played. "The romance of it all never left me," he explains. "Now the romance for me is in playing some of these really down 'n' dirty blues clubs where you might be playing in front of 100 people and they're packed in at a bar in the corner somewhere. It's hard as nails, but that's where I find the romance is. I've seen all the greats with maybe 12 people i the audience. I have never forgotten that. I think that's where you want to see me and people like myself."

Another 50 years is, of course, unlikely, but while Simmonds remains committed to music he also envisions a different kind of future ahead. "I'm at an age where one is reflective, and getting to this point gives me pause," Simmonds says. "I mean, we lost Leon Russell (this week). We've lost a number of people. Every time someone from my generation or perhaps a little older passes away, it give me great cause for reflection. When you're younger you're like, 'Ah, I'll just play into my 80s. All the blues guys did.' But then you get to a certain age and you realize that's somewhat optimistic. And it's got nothing to do with you; It's got to do with God. So I'll certainly be enjoying life more in the next 50 years; (laughs) I'll certainly be doing my best to enjoy the gigs, but I'm certainly not going to be laying night after night after night. I don't want to make this into a job."

Savoy Brown has started work on its next album it plans to release next year, and its concert crowds will likely get a sneak preview of the new material. "We've really been making headway on the new material and playing it live," Simmonds says. "We've decided to keep the three-piece, so I'm still singing myself and I think especially this year my voice has matured and I'm finding my own voice. We're rally working hard on the material and focusing in on what is Savoy Brown material. Often in the past I would take various (stylistic) roads, whatever came along with the music. This time we're more focused, and I think it will sound very comfortable, but fresh."

Savoy Brown

Thursday, Nov. 17. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $25.

Call 248.544-3030 or visit themagicbag.com.


Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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