Savoy Brown

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Savoy Brown
Savoy-Brown.jpg
Savoy Brown (featuring Kim Simmonds)
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Genres Blues rock [1]
Years active1965–present
Labels Decca, Deram, Parrot, Blind Pig
Associated acts Chicken Shack, Foghat, Fleetwood Mac
Website Savoybrown.com
Members Kim Simmonds
Pat DeSalvo
Garnet Grimm
Past membersSee Members

Savoy Brown (Originally Savoy Brown Blues Band) are an English blues rock band [1] formed in Battersea, south west London, [2] in 1965. Part of the late 1960s blues rock movement, Savoy Brown primarily achieved success in the United States, where they promoted their albums with non-stop touring. [2]

Contents

Career

The band was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds [2] and harmonica player John O'Leary, following a chance meeting at Transat Imports record shop in Lisle Street, Soho, in 1965. In naming themselves, the group put together two words that conveyed an interesting balance of opposite sentiments and approaches. The word "Savoy" came from an American blues label, Savoy Records, as the members of the band thought the word "Savoy" sounded elegant. They added “Brown” because they thought it was an extremely plain word. Overall, the group called itself the Savoy Brown Blues Band to tell listeners that they played Chicago Blues-sounding music. [3]

The original line-up included singer Brice Portius, keyboardist Trevor Jeavons, bassist Ray Chappell, drummer Leo Manning and harmonica player John O'Leary (O'Leary appeared on record with the band on its initial recordings for Mike Vernon's Purdah label). Portius was one of the first black blues musicians to be a part of a British rock band.[ citation needed ] Jeavons was replaced by Bob Hall shortly after the band's formation and the arrival of Martin Stone on guitars. Not long after Stone's arrival, O'Leary left the band as a consequence of a dispute with Manager Harry Simmonds. This line-up, sans O'Leary, appeared on the band's 1967 debut album, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers. [2]

Further line-up changes ensued, with founding members Portius, Chappell and Manning departing along with recently recruited guitarist Stone over a short period of time. Chris Youlden and "Lonesome" Dave Peverett would become the band's new vocalist and 2nd guitarist respectively. Initially Bob Brunning and Hughie Flint (from John Mayall's Clapton-version Bluesbreakers) filled the bassist and drummer positions on the single "Taste and Try (Before You Buy)," but they were subsequently replaced by Rivers Jobe and Bill Bruford. Within a fortnight of Bruford's arrival in the band, he had been replaced by Roger Earl (Bruford went on to huge success later as Yes's drummer). This line-up recorded two albums in 1968, Getting to the Point, and Blue Matter, which demonstrated Youlden's rise as a songwriter alongside Simmonds. It was this line-up that released the single "Train to Nowhere" in 1969. A Step Further was released later that year, and introduced bassist Tony Stevens replacing Jobe. They developed a loyal core following in the United States, due to songs such as "I'm Tired," a driving, melodic song from the album.[ citation needed ]

Following the release of Raw Sienna (also released in 1969) Youlden departed the band. Raw Sienna had marked the first time that a single line-up of the band had recorded successive albums without any changes in personnel. The band recorded their next album, 1970's Looking In, as a four-piece, and following this album Peverett, Stevens, and Earl left to form Foghat with guitarist Rod Price. [4]

Simmonds continued the band with Dave Walker on vocals, Paul Raymond on keyboards and guitars, Andy Silvester on bass, and Dave Bidwell on drums – almost the complete Chicken Shack line up.

"More even than John Mayall, this band was the great mean—that is, the mean—of the purist (as opposed to heavy) wing of what we in America once called British blues."

Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) [5]

They were one of the bands that UK Decca (US London/Parrot) stuck with through the lean times until they started selling records; it took four or five albums until they started to sell in the US. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the band managed to break into the Billboard Hot 100. The 1971 release Street Corner Talking included the songs "Tell Mama" and "Street Corner Talking". Superstardom perpetually evaded them, though, perhaps in part because of their frequent line-up changes. Despite that their next album, Hellbound Train (1972) was a Top 40 album for them in the US. In January 1974, the British music magazine, NME reported that Stan Webb was joining Savoy Brown, following the break-up of Chicken Shack. [6]

In the late 1970s, Simmonds organised the band with singer Ralph Morman, formerly of the Joe Perry Project, drummer Keith Boyce and guitarist Barry Paul of Heavy Metal Kids fame, and bassist John Humphrey. This line-up recorded the 1981 Rock 'N' Roll Warriors album, which gave Savoy Brown more success than the group had seen since the mid-1970s. The single "Run to Me", a cover of a song originally recorded by Smokie, became Savoy's highest-charting single in the United States, peaking at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week of 31 October 1981. [7] That year found the band performing several major arena shows in the US alongside Judas Priest, and recording a live album at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver. Greatest Hits – Live in Concert was released at the end of the year, featuring "Run to Me" as the sole studio track, as the single had appeared previously only on the German version of Rock 'N' Roll Warriors. Despite the success of this line-up, Simmonds was once again on his own by the Spring of 1982.

Singer Dave Walker returned to the group in the late 1980s and recorded two studio albums and one live album as lead vocalist, but left the group for a second time in 1991. All three of these projects featuring Walker were well received by longtime fans.[ citation needed ] During the 1990s Simmonds continued working with various line-ups of the band, including a brief stint with future Molly Hatchet lead singer Phil McCormack.

While the band is still[ when? ] active, touring the world and recording regularly, only Simmonds has stayed since the beginning. [2] Original member and harmonica player John O'Leary is still[ when? ] active on the British blues circuit with his band Sugarkane. After leaving Savoy Brown for the first time in the 1970s singer Dave Walker joined Fleetwood Mac for one album, and in early 1978 became the temporary lead singer for Black Sabbath. [8] Bassists have included: Andy Pyle, who played with Mick Abrahams from Jethro Tull in Blodwyn Pig, then later with The Kinks; John Humphrey, who would go on to work with many major artists, including Carole King; Gary Moore; and Andy Silvester, who played with Wha-Koo after Chicken Shack. Savoy Brown also provided an outlet for keyboardist and guitarist Paul Raymond, who later went on to join UFO. Drummer Keith Boyce reformed Heavy Metal Kids and is currently[ when? ] active with that group. Singer Ralph Morman disappeared from the scene in the mid-1980s until emerging in 2011 with plans for a solo project. Guitarist Barry Paul became a successful studio owner in Los Angeles. Singer Jimmy Kunes, who fronted the band during the mid-1980s, is currently[ when? ] the singer for the reformed supergroup Cactus.

Savoy Brown contributed the song "A Man Alone" for the soundtrack to the movie Kickboxer 2 .

In 2008, "Train to Nowhere" was used, and figured as a clue, in the TV series CSI: NY, in Season 4, Episode 10 – "The Thing About Heroes".

Their first album for Blind Pig Records, Strange Days, was released in 2003. [2] The band released another record, Steel, in 2007. [2]

Their album, Voodoo Moon, was released by Ruf Records in 2011. [9]

In 2015, billed as Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown, their album, The Devil to Pay, reached number four on the US Billboard Top Blues Albums chart. [10]

Members

Current members

Discography

Albums

Selected singles

Related Research Articles

Dave Walker English rock singer

David Walker is a British singer and guitarist who has been front-man for a number of bands; most notably The Idle Race, Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, and, briefly, Black Sabbath. In 2020, he is the current lead singer of Humble Pie.

Foghat

Foghat is an American-based English rock band formed in London in 1971. The band is known for the use of electric slide guitar in its music. The band has achieved eight gold records, one platinum and one double platinum record, and despite several line-up changes, continue to record and perform.

Rod Price

Roderick Michael Price was an English guitarist who was best known for his work with the rock band Foghat. He was known as 'The Magician of Slide', and 'Slide King of Rock And Roll', due to his slide guitar playing.

Roger Earl English drummer

Roger Earl is an English drummer best known as a member of the rock band Foghat. A founding member, along with guitarist and vocalist "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, guitarist Rod Price, and bassist Tony Stevens, Earl is the only member to feature in every lineup of the band.

Kim Simmonds

Kim Maiden Simmonds is a Welsh guitarist and is the leader and founder member of the blues rock band Savoy Brown.

<i>Raw Sienna</i> (album) 1970 studio album by Savoy Brown

Raw Sienna is the fifth album by the band Savoy Brown.

Charlie Huhn American rock singer and guitarist

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Dave Peverett

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<i>A Step Further</i> 1969 studio album (part live) by Savoy Brown

A Step Further is the fourth album by the band Savoy Brown. It was released by Decca in the U.K. and by Parrot in the U.S. in September 1969. This is the last album recorded with long time pianist Bob Hall. The album track "Made Up My Mind" had first appeared as the B-side of the US single release on Parrot Records 45-40039, fronted by "Train to Nowhere", from their album Blue Matter. The track "Waiting in the Bamboo Grove" would later be released as the B-side of the UK single release on Decca F 13019, of "A Hard Way To Go" from their album Raw Sienna.

<i>Looking In</i> 1970 studio album by Savoy Brown

Looking In is the sixth album by the British blues band Savoy Brown. The album featured "Lonesome" Dave Peverett on vocals after Chris Youlden left the band the previous spring. Leader/guitarist Kim Simmonds would be the only band member to continue with the band after this album, as all other band members left to form Foghat the following year.

<i>Hellbound Train</i> 1972 studio album by Savoy Brown

Hellbound Train is the eighth album by the band Savoy Brown.

<i>Getting to the Point</i> (album) 1968 studio album by Savoy Brown

Getting to the Point is the second studio album by the British blues rock band Savoy Brown. It marks the debut of a vastly different lineup, still led by Kim Simmonds but fronted by new vocalist Chris Youlden.

<i>Blue Matter</i> (Savoy Brown album) 1969 studio album (part live) by Savoy Brown

Blue Matter is the third album by the band Savoy Brown. Teaming up once again with producer Mike Vernon, it finds them experimenting even more within the blues framework. Several tracks feature piano as well as trombone.

Tony Stevens

Tony Stevens is an English musician, best known as the bassist with the bands Foghat, Savoy Brown and Nobodys Business.

<i>Shake Down</i> (album) 1967 studio album by Savoy Brown

Shake Down is the debut studio album by the British blues rock band Savoy Brown. It was released in 1967 under the name of Savoy Brown Blues Band and is mainly an album of covers, featuring three songs penned by blues singer Willie Dixon. In addition to Dixon, the band covers John Lee Hooker and B.B. King.

<i>Zig-Zag Walk</i> 1983 studio album by Foghat

Zig-Zag Walk is the twelfth studio album by British hard rock band Foghat, released in 1983. Unlike the previous year's In the Mood for Something Rude, which consisted of all outside material, lead singer Dave Peverett wrote five of the album's ten songs, with guitarist Erik Cartwright contributing a sixth. A few of the songs are given a rockabilly treatment augmenting the blues rock the band is better known for. It would be the band's last album for over a decade until their comeback album, Return of the Boogie Men, in 1994.

Rivers Jobe, born Rivers Maitland Alexander Job, was a British bass player known for being a member of Anon, one of the two bands which merged to form the progressive rock band Genesis; and for playing on the Savoy Brown album, Getting to the Point (1968), as well as on the tracks "Vicksburg Blues", "Train to Nowhere", and "Tolling Bells" on the following Blue Matter album. Jobe was replaced in Savoy Brown by Tone Stevens in November 1968, and performed as a session musician and busker until his death.

References

  1. 1 2 Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN   1-904041-96-5.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Biography by Steve Huey". Allmusic . Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  3. "The Early Years — Savoy Brown" . Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. Pratt, Tim (May 1991). "Savoy Brown: Part Two" (PDF). BBR Boogie (17): 19. Retrieved 8 August 2019. When Peverett left, he took Stevens and Earl with him and emerged 18 months later with former Black Cat Bones guitarist Rod Price as Foghat. Foghat owed a lot of their early popularity, especially in the U.S., to their former band. Magazine articles and record campany (sic) press kits used the Savoy Brown connection for all it was worth.
  5. Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies . Ticknor & Fields. ISBN   089919026X . Retrieved 12 March 2019 via robertchristgau.com.
  6. Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 260. CN 5585.
  7. 1 2 "Savoy Brown chart history". Billboard . Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  8. Saulnier, Jason (30 December 2011). "Dave Walker Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  9. "Bman's Blues Report: New Ruf Records release: Voodoo Moon – Savoy Brown – review". Bmansbluesreport.com. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  10. "The Devil to Pay – Savoy Brown, Kim Simmonds | Awards". AllMusic . Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  11. "SAVOY BROWN | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  12. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 265. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  13. "Bman's Blues Report: Bman's Exclusive Interview with Kim Simmonds – Savoy Brown". Bmansbluesreport.com. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  14. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 483. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  15. "Savoy Brown | Awards". AllMusic . Retrieved 5 April 2015.