In the first two parts of this series I discussed two hard rock albums, Captain Beyond and Uriah Heep’s Look at Yourself. Just so you don’t think all I listen to is hard acid rock, this next album is one of the most tasteful electric blues albums of all time by the premiere British Blues band led by one of the most underrated guitarists of all time, Kim Simmonds. If I ever do a series on “Guitarists You Should Know, But Probably Don’t” Kim will be the first one I discuss.
Savoy Brown’s first release Shake Down came out in 1967. By 1970 they were releasing their sixth album, Looking In, and Savoy Brown was in its second or third incarnation. Savoy Brown was a hard-working and touring band and because of it became a revolving door for many musicians with founder/lead guitarist Kim Simmonds as the one and only constant.
One might wonder about the quality of the music when a band releases six albums over a three-year span. No need to worry in the case of Savoy Brown. They consistently produced some of the best British blues on vinyl. From the insistent beat in Train to Nowhere to the amusing She’s Got a Ring in His Nose, and a Ring on Her Hand, the drug anthem Needle and Spoon, and the soulful Stay While the Night is Young, Savoy Brown was putting out some great blues.
In fact, if you enjoy the blues or boogie music, you can’t go wrong if you pick up any of their late 60s and early 70s releases such as Blue Matter, A Step Further, Raw Sienna, Street Corner Talking, or Hellbound Train.
Looking In finds the band at its peak. It is the best the lot and some of the tastiest blues guitar work ever pressed on vinyl resides in these grooves. What I would call a perfect album from start to finish. Every song is a keeper and Lonesome Dave Peverett’s vocals are often painfully mournful; he has just one of those perfect blues voices. After this album the rhythm section ran off (everyone kept leaving poor Kim in a lurch) and formed Foghat with the addition of Roger Price as lead guitarist.
The album art was done by one Jim Baikie, a well-known illustrator who is known for television adaptations of Star Trek and The Monkees along with Judge Dredge in 2000 AD, and recently Alan Moore’s Tomorrow Stories.
Here’s a great example from that album, Take it Easy.
Sitting An’ Thinking is a great instrumental. I really like the slide guitar. I assume it’s slide, it doesn’t sound like a whammy effect to me.
And here’s a more recent live set (Kim Simmonds is the genius on the Flying V) of another song off that album, this is Poor Girl.