by Tony Engelhart
Review date: September 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
As part of the British Blues invasion of the 1960's, Savoy Brown joined the elite group of young musicians who had looked to American artist such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf for inspiration. Like John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, and the Yardbirds, the band stayed closer to an authentic sound then the Rolling Stones or Cream. While there have been many incarnations, Savoy Brown have been recording and touring for over three decades. Only founding lead singer/guitarist Kim Simmonds left from the original line-up. Following the critically acclaimed solo his project in 2001, Blues Like Midnight, he returns with first Savoy studio album of the millennium, Strange Dream.
Savoy Brown's debut for Blind Pig led Simmonds to assemble yet another group of like-minded players to record another gratifyingly smooth electric blues album. Instead of forming a "super group", Kim chose relatively unknown and young studio musicians to collaborate with. The strategy paid off as Strange Dream has the youthful exuberance of their earlier work with the maturity of the band's later efforts. The new cd is comprised of all original Simmonds material with the exception of a partially acoustic version of Blind Boy Fuller's "Meat Shaking Woman." Cholk-full of diverse rhythms and sharp guitar work, Simmonds and company lay down some funk driven R&B with a pinch of soulful blues. Tracks such as "Can't Take It With You" and "(Hard Time) Believing in You" possess a contemporary "Robert Cray style" of blues, whereas "Shake It All Night" and "Can't Let You Go" convey a more traditional approach.
Strange Dream is a well rounded and diverse recording that respectfully reflects the Savoy Brown legacy of an enduring and uncompromising blues band.
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