In a time where the basic argument is that many of our beloved bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, for the most part, cannot hold court with their past achievements, you can always count on at least one that doesn’t know the calendar has shed pages. This is a good thing for fans that feel the same way – or at least wants to feel that way.
Savoy Brown has been around for quite some time. Since their formation in 1965, as a matter of fact. The band itself has undergone a myriad of line-up changes, more so than the average established band. The mainstay, Kim Simmonds, guitarist extraordinaire, has remained throughout. At one time, three-quarters of the band contained the future founding members of Foghat (“Lonesome” Dave Peverett, Roger Earl, Tony Stevens – how awesome was that?!) Still, throughout the continuing span of Savoy Brown, Kim Simmonds has exhibited incredible wisdom in choosing carefully who would perform under the Savoy Brown name.
There are more than enough Savoy Brown studio albums to remember the band by. Some of you may have your favorites. I know I have mine. I will confess, however, to having a love for almost all things Savoy Brown throughout the decades, including their last studio gem, Voodoo Moon from 2011.
It’s always a thrill to be able to experience Savoy Brown in a live setting. The band is firing on all cylinders. Simmonds’ guitar work is blistering. I’ve been fortunate over these years to see the underrated band several times. And so when there’s a new Savoy Brown album and it’s a live one, then it’s easy for me to say yes to picking one up.
Songs From The Road contains twelve songs that scatter from Voodoo Moon (six of the twelve), and a classic re visitation from three brilliant early albums (“Looking In” – Looking In (1970), “Street Corner Talking”, “Time Does Tell”, “Tell Mama”, “Wang Dang Doodle” – Street Corner Talking (1971), “Hellbound Train” – Hellbound Train (1972)).
There are two ways that Songs From The Road is available. The standard CD issue, which is really all you need, and a CD/DVD Special Edition, which is a filmed document of the performance tracks heard on the CD with a bonus of two extra tracks (“Little Red Rooster”, “Louisiana Blues”)
Songs From The Road is a blazing sun of music, searing and all enveloping. The show that the songs are taken from was in 2012. But you can hardly tell it because the band and Simmonds are in tip top shape, perfect in every way, just like they were performing in 1971. While I’m a fan of Savoy Brown, this review is telling it like it is. This album is representative of a band that never left the stage, and still knows how to craft – and play – brilliant and fiery bluesy rock songs.
And if you haven’t heard Voodoo Moon yet, this genuine live album will most certainly lead you to it.
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Label – Ruf Records
Availability: CD, CD/DVD, DD