With Ain’t Done Yet, Savoy Brown frontman Kim Simmonds lays down the statement that his blues mastery will be around a while longer. And that’s saying something, since Savoy Brown have been around pretty much since the middle years of the British Invasion. In its original form, the band was comparable to the early Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac, Cream and Ten Years After. But while most of their contemporaries have retired to rest homes (or whatever they’re called in England), Savoy Brown continues to cut records and to tour. The band was originally formed in 1966. Savoy Brown’s first album dates back to 1967, and albums generally regarded as the band’s masterpiece, Blue Matter and Raw Sienna, a fusion of British blues rock and psychodelia, were released in 1969 and 1970.
Since those edgy days in the late 1960s, Simmonds and Savoy Brown have settled into a comfortable niche as mainstays of British blues-rock, along with John Mayall. If Mayall is the king of British blues, Simmonds is certainly a Lord or a Duke. He continues to crank out quality blues albums, and Ain’t Done Yet is no exception.
As the years have passed by, Simmonds’ style has matured from the aggressive, somewhat psychedelic blues-rocker of the 1960s to the more laid back bluesman of today (who knows how to put the roll before the rock, as some might say). On Ain’t Done Yet, while Simmonds shows he certainly can still lay down searing rock licks on songs like “All Gone Wrong,” his best work comes on masterful tracks like “River on the Rise,” the title track, and “Feel Like a Gypsy,” where he lets a little air into the songs. Then there is the closing instrumental, “Crying Guitar,” on which Simmonds plays some sweet guitar that can be relished every second by blues enthusiasts.
For Ain’t Done Yet, Simmonds was joined by bandmates Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums.
About the author: Bill Wilcox is a roots music enthusiast recently relocated from the Washington, DC area to Philadelphia, PA and back again.