Over 50 years of rocking the blues – Savoy Brown, with leader Kim Simmonds at the helm, return with ‘City Night’ – their 40th album – released via Quarto Valley Records (distributed by Proper).
On the back of a number one Billboard blues hit in 2017, expectations are high for this new band offering. The album features Kim Simmonds on vocals and searing lead guitar and he is complemented with the most consistent line-up in the band’s history, going strong for more than 10 years now with Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums.
‘City Night’ is comprised of 12 high energy blues rock songs to surely please the worldwide fan base. “Walking On Hot Stones”, “Payback Time” and “Don’t Hang Me Out To Dry” will catch the attention of radio DJ’s looking for the fresh new sound Savoy Brown brings to roots music.
Savoy Brown was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds in 1965 in London, England. Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through the band’s newest effort, their fortieth album.
Energetic blues has been the calling card of the band from the beginning. “Blues rock” became the catch-all phrase in the late 1960s to describe the band’s music along with that of contemporaries such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. In fact, in the 2013 drama film Jimi Hendrix: All Is By My Side, a Savoy Brown song co-written by Simmonds was included in the soundtrack.
Many of the band’s singles and albums have appeared on the Billboard charts. Through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980’s songs such as I’m Tired, Train to Nowhere, Tell Mama and Lay Back In The Arms Of Someonebecame Hot 100 entries. Two of the band’s albums in the 1970s, Looking In and Hellbound Train, appeared on the Billboard Top Forty charts. This pattern continues today, culminating with Witchy Feelin’, the band’s 2017 album, reaching #1 on the Billboard Blues chart.
Along the way, Savoy Brown has toured continuously, making it one of the longest running blues/rock bands in existence. Through the years, the band has headlined concerts at many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, the Fillmore West and Royal Albert Hall in London. The band, having established national status in the 1970s, provided other groups opportunity. Kiss opened the bill on a Savoy Brown national tour as did ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers and many, many more acts.
As many artists will attest, the most unexpected circumstance can spark artistic inspiration. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Albert Castiglia. With his latest album, the aptly named Masterpiece, he celebrates an unforeseen triumph — a connection with a daughter he never knew he had. The result is a work that’s both personal and provocative all at the same time.
Co-produced by long-time friend and colleague Mike Zito, and coming out on Zito’s own label, Gulf Coast Records, the album also finds Castiglia reflecting on the disappointment and disconnect that’s gripped the nation in the past several years. “This album is an observation of life through the eyes of a father, grandfather, husband and citizen of the world. My newly found family brought out a perspective I never thought I’d have.”
The Miami-raised musician served an apprenticeship while backing legendary blues musician Junior Wells. He later went on to work with singer Sandra Hall. Thus far his solo career has yielded eight critically acclaimed album and consist kudos for his exceptional instrumental prowess, his searing vocals, and live performances that have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. It’s little wonder that Miami’s New Times lauded him as South Florida’s “Best Blues Guitarist” or that USA Today was inspired to remark “It’s a revelation to discover the thrilling retro-electric blues from this astonishing young guitarist.”
Likewise, BluesAbout.com called Castiglia “one of those mid-tier artists that is just one album away from breaking big and becoming a household word in the blues world.” Or, as M Music & Musicians once noted, “His back-to-basics approach follows in the footsteps of those who fostered the blues in the Mississippi Delta and the smoky late-night haunts of Chicago.”
For now, anyway, Castiglia is content to celebrate a new chapter in his life and what has become an added incentive for making music. That philosophy is perhaps best expressed in another song on the new album, a track called “Keep on Swinging.”
“It’s about advice I would have given my daughter had I been around when she was a kid but which I’m now able to give to grandchildren,” Castiglia says.” ‘Keep on swinging, don’t let the haters get you down.'” I always try to remind them that they are special and can accomplish anything their heart desires if they only put their minds to it. They’re the ones that give me hope for the future.”