Savoy Brown: Witchy Feelin’ Review

If you like the Louisiana swamp blues of Tony Joe White, you may well like this, the zillionth album from Kim Simmonds-helmed British blues outfit Savoy Brown.  Witchy Feelin’ may be a rather naff sounding title, but what lies behind it is deep deep blue.

The opening couple of tracks are superb examples, both built around a hypnotic, steady groove from drummer Garnet Grimm and bass man Pat DeSalvo.  On “Why Did You Hoodoo Me” the rhythm is redoubled by gritty guitar chords, and overlaid with flickering fills from Simmons, leading up to a couple of fiery solos.  On the more subdued “Livin’ On The Bayou” DeSalvo’s pulsing bass line is set off by twinkling notes from Simmonds and sweetly piercing, restrained solo.

The quality fluctuates a bit over the following tracks.  “I Can’t Stop The Blues” has a gutsy, growling, stuttering riff and “Guitar Slinger” has a pepped up groove, with even grittier guitar chords over rolling bass and drums.  But the title track is undistinguished, and the chugging boogie of “Vintage Man,” a tale of old-fashioned values, is the sort of thing that Elvin Bishop would deliver with readier wit.  “Memphis Blues’” is a better slice of boogie powered by Simmonds’ slide guitar, with a nice riff reminiscent of Springsteen’s “Seeds.”

Simmonds’ slide playing is of a different hue on the spare “Standing In A Doorway,” achingly impressive and matched by patient vocals.  “Thunder, Lightning And Rain” plots an entirely different course though, a wah-wah soaked intro announcing an incursion into Robin Trower territory over another convincing, minimalist groove.  It’s well worth the near 8 minutes expended on it, building to a rousing crescendo with a rare burst of energy from the DeSalvo and Grimm.  The Clapton-esque instrumental “Close To Midnight” closes the book in woozy fashion, with pinging, flowing guitar notes from Simmonds.

Witchy Feelin’ is the kind of album that makes you want to lie back and let it wash all over you, bathing in that wonderfully controlled groove and Simmonds’ guitar colorings.  Sure, a few tracks don’t have the luster of the best songs, but you’ll forgive them that for the best moments.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Why Did You Hoodoo Me
– Livin’ On The Bayou
– Memphis Blues
– Thunder, Lightning And Rain
– Close To Midnight

The Big Hit

– Thunder, Lightning And Rain

Review by Iain Cameron

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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