Savoy Brown: Blues All Around Review

It’s been nearly 60 years and over 40 albums since Savoy Brown”was first formed by the late Kim Simmonds in 1965. Blues All Around is the posthumous release of the album that Simmonds was working on prior to his death. All the songs on the album were written by Kim and the band was comprised of him on guitar, harmonica, organ and vocals along with his longtime band mates, Garnet Grimm on drums and bass guitarist Pat DeSalvo. Simmonds completed the album before his passing while he was undergoing chemotherapy. The album is being released by Quarto Valley Records on February 17, 2023. It’s a straight out of the heart blues rocking extravaganza with Simmonds using a layered technique to record it. Ron Keck, his recording engineer, suggested the method to help Kim in finishing the album while undergoing the negative side effects of chemo.

The album is comprised of 12 cuts that were produced by Kim Simmonds and executive producer Bruce Quarto. Savoy Brown albums were normally recorded as a group effort in the studio but as already mentioned this time the album was layered. The way it was recorded began with Simmonds first recording his tracks for guitar and vocals followed by DeSalvo and Garnet adding bass and drums. The album was mixed and mastered in Syracuse, New York at Subcat Studios by Ron Keck.

The album leads off with a short 42 second slow loping electric blues titled “Falling Through” repeating the title line. “Black Heart” follows with Grimms’ pounding drums opening followed by DeSalvo on bass. It’s a hard blues rocking number with Simmonds’ gravely sounding voice singing –

“Why do you fool with me?

I still need your lovin’

I’m never gonna be free.”

“Going Down South” has a slide guitar going down deep into the South on the Mississippi and wailing to the high heavens with growling vocals. “Gypsy Healer” begins with a light harmonica sound and a steady beat leading into great guitar work accompanied by a thumping bass and rhythmic drum tempo. He implores the gypsy healer to give him some good news –

“I got to know that I’ll be seeing better times.”

“Blues All Around” is another solid blue number with guitar dominance from the opening note. DeSalvo’s bass is up front and thumps out the groove that Simmonds plays to on “Texas Love” with some harmonica embellishments. The primal sound of “Winning Hand” is a slow driving blues once again galvanized by the rhythm section with strategically placed guitar peals blending with Kim’s harmonica chromatically. “Hurting Spell” is a driving slide guitar excursion with a foot tapping beat that has Simmonds howling about the pain. “Can’t Go Back To My Hometown” begins with a soaring guitar and continues to build on the guitar sound while Kim sings –

“I’m walking alone with my heart hanging down.”

Simmonds comes out with his guitar blazing the second “California Days Gone By” begins while Grimms’ explosive drum detonations parallel Kim’s transcendent slide guitar emanations. “My Baby” is a loose freewheeling song expressing itself between power chords and stratospheric guitar peals stating the fact that.

“My babe, she’s my girl

She shakes me up inside.”

“Falling Through the Cracks” concludes both the album and is the other half of the opening song “Falling Through” played in a style reminiscent of John Lee Hooker.

The first time that I saw Savoy Brown was in 1969 when they were headliners promoting their third album Blue Matter. Albert King and BB King opened for the band as promoters of a new generation of blues. Savoy Brown under the leadership of Kim Simmonds has helped to keep the blues alive for nearly six decades and has now joined his predecessors in “Beulah Land.” Blues All Around was Kim Simmonds’ final contribution to the blues and Savoy Brown’s 42nd album which completes its legacy.

The Review 9/10

– Going Down South
– Blues All Around
– California Days Gone By
– My Baby
– Can’t Go Back To My Hometown

The Big Hit

– Can’t Go Back Home

Buy the album: Amazon

Bob Gersztyn

As a teenager in Detroit, Michigan during the early 1960’s Bob Gersztyn saw many Motown and other R&B artists including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. After his discharge from the army in 1968 he attended school on the GI Bill and spent the next 3 years attending concerts and festivals weekly. It was the seminal period in Detroit rock & roll that Bob witnessed spawning the MC5 and Stooges along with shows featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the “Doors” to B. B. King and John Lee Hooker. In 1971 He moved to Los Angeles, California to finish his schooling where he became an inner city pastor promoting and hosting gospel concerts. He moved to Oregon in 1982 and began photographing and reviewing concerts for music publications. Since that time he has published myriads of photographs, articles, interviews, and contributed to 2 encyclopedias and published 6 books on everything from music to the military. His rock & roll photo art is available for sale on Etsy @: Bob may be contacted personally at

5 thoughts on “Savoy Brown: Blues All Around Review

  • I’m sad to hear about Kim’s passing. Early Savoy Brown albums really got me through some hard times. I was fortunate to see them at Jazzbones in Tacoma a few years back. I can’t waith to listen to this album and give my deepest condolences to Kim’s friends and family. He is truly a legend now.

  • Sad to hear Kim died. Got to see him 5 times and chatted with him twice. Always friendly and always gave a spirited performance – even the time less than 100 people showed uo for a beer garden performance near Batavia, Il. Kim told me 30 years ago he would keep performing as long as he was able because there was nothing he loved more. I became a fan when I first heard Blue Matter more than 50 years ago. Louisiana Blues still gives me chills at the climax of his sizzling solo. Brilliant rendition and a wonderful performer and person. I will miss him dearly.

  • Very sad to hear of his passing, this brings back my beautiful memories of 1978-1982….ty for the memories!

  • Sad to hear of Kim’s passing. Love Savoy Brown, took a couple of my favorite albums with me to a show in the eighties and Kim signed them for me. Can’t wait to hear the Blues all Around.

  • Savoy Brown has always been one of my favorite bands. Kim was a friendly and humble person. I got to chat with him twice after the band played on two occasions. Ram’s Head Tavern, summer 1999, I asked my wife to marry me on stage just after the encore. Luckily, she said yes! The band gave us a video tape of the whole event and we got to go backstage and meet the band and get autographs. They were funny, humble and a joy to speak with backstage. Kim has always been one of my favorite guitarists. Garnet & Pat, you’re awesome too! Rest in Eternal Peace Kim…


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