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Kim Simmonds playing with Savoy Brown in 1975
|Birth name||Kim Maiden Simmonds|
|Born||5 December 1947|
Newbridge, Caerphilly, Wales
|Genres||Blues rock, blues, rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer|
|Associated acts||Savoy Brown|
When still a young teenager, Simmonds learned to play from listening to his brother's blues records. Considered one of the architects of British blues, he started the Savoy Brown Blues Band in October 1965, who began playing gigs at the Nags Head in 1966 in London. Early gigs included performing with Cream at Klooks Kleek and accompanying John Lee Hooker.
Live performances led to Savoy Brown signing with Decca. But it was 1969 before its classic line-up gelled around Simmonds, rhythm guitarist Lonesome Dave Peverett, and the monocle and bowler hat-wearing vocalist Chris Youlden. That year's Blue Matter and A Step Further albums conjured up at least three classics heard on The Best of Savoy Brown (20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection): "Train To Nowhere", the live show-stopper "Louisiana Blues" (a Muddy Waters number), and "I'm Tired".
Since its first US visit, Savoy Brown has criss-crossed the country, and "I'm Tired" became the group's first hit single across the ocean. The band would find a greater following in America than in its native England throughout its career.
1970's Raw Sienna followed, featuring "A Hard Way To Go" and "Stay While The Night Is Still Young". When Youlden then departed for a solo career, Lonesome Dave took over the lead vocals. Looking In, also in 1970, featured not only "Poor Girl" and "Money Can't Save Your Soul" but one of the era's memorable LP covers, a troglodyte-like savage staring into an eye socket of a monstrous skull. Later, Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens and drummer Roger Earl left to form the successful but decidedly rock band Foghat. Simmonds soldiered on, recruiting from blues band Chicken Shack keyboardist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Silvester and drummer Dave Bidwell, and from the Birmingham club circuit the vocalist Dave Walker.
The new line-up was a hit. On stage in America, the group was supported by Rod Stewart and the Faces. On the album Street Corner Talking (1971) and Hellbound Train (1972) launched favorites "Tell Mama", "Street Corner Talking", a cover of the Temptations' Motown standard "I Can't Get Next To You" and the nine-minute epic "Hellbound Train" (decades later Love & Rockets adapted it as "Bound For Hell"). Walker then quit to join Fleetwood Mac, pre-Buckingham/Nicks.
In 1997, Simmonds released his first solo acoustic album, entitled Solitaire. He toured worldwide with various configurations of Savoy Brown. The 2004 live set you should Have Been There, recorded in early 2003 in Vancouver with Simmonds handling lead vocals - and also as a solo acoustic act. In 2011 he celebrated 45 years of touring with the Savoy Brown album Voodoo Moon.
In 2017, his album with Savoy Brown, Witchy Feeling, reached number one on the Billboard blues charts.
As a soloist and leader of Savoy Brown, Simmonds released over 47 albums through 2016. He is also a painter; the cover of his 2008 solo release, Out of the Blue, featured his original art.
- Solitaire (1997)
- Blues Like Midnight (2001)
- Struck by Lightning (2004)
- Out of the Blue (2008)
- Jazzin' on the Blues (2015)
- "Kim Simmonds, Savoy Brown and the Incredible Journey From London, Circa 1965". Gibson.com. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- Berk, Dr. Nancy. "Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds Rocks the Band's 50th Year". parade.com. Retrieved 13 December 2016.