Kim Simmonds / Savoy Brown

Goin' to the Delta

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No matter the title of this Ruf Records outing, Kim Simmonds, founder, guitarist, and eternal frontman for Savoy Brown, is going straight for its Chicago mojo to deliver this set of scorching electric blues. Aided and abetted by his now longstanding road band -- comprising bassist Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grimm -- Simmonds' Savoy Brown comes full circle from its 1965 roots as a British band won over to the loud, gritty sounds coming across the ocean from Chess Records. Opener "Laura Lee," is in the classic Windy City tradition, as inspired by Hound Dog Taylor's house rockin' style as they are Muddy Waters', while "Just a Dream" recalls the moody, slow burning attack of Son Seals. The instrumental boogie "Cobra" is like Slim Harpo-cum-ZZ Top in its hipshaking groove. The guitar vamp on "Nothin Like the Blues" recalls but isn't beholden to -- Ted Nugent's on "Stranglehold," but the Nuge "borrowed" part of the same riff from Bo Diddley. "Backstreet Woman" owes more than a little to Buddy Guy with its funky eight notes and breakbeats by Grimm in the turnarounds. The title track is pure Willie Dixon rave-up, while "I Miss Your Love" showcases Simmonds playing some mean slide. The roiling stinging guitar attack on closer "Goin' Back" recalls Jimmy "Fast Fingers" Dawkins riding atop a positively infectious bassline by DeSalvo. Simmonds is in fine singing voice, and as aggressive as this set is, he economizes his solos exceptionally, with maximum flash and minimum time. The only problem here is the same-old, same-old -- Simmonds' lyrics are positively embarrassing. But then, his and Savoy Brown's fans don't pay to hear songwriting. Goin to the Delta is a solid, straight-up set preferable even to the acclaimed Voodoo Moon.

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