12 tracks; 61 Minutes
On 2011’s “Voodoo Moon” veteran bluesman Kim Simmonds produced some excellent songs, mainly in a blues-rock vein. This time around Kim has opted to go back to basics and record as a three piece so Joe Whiting, who shared vocals and played some sax on “Voodoo Moon”, is not involved and there are no additional instruments, just the trio of Kim on guitar and vocals, Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums. Apart from the lack of harmonica the sound here is a return to the ‘British Blues Invasion’ of the late 60’s of which the original Savoy Brown were a part. Since then a lot of water has flown under the bridge, Kim has been resident in the US for many years and Savoy Brown are probably better known in the States than in the UK.
Kim’s voice is not his finest asset but it works fine on this material, all of which was written by Kim who recorded and produced the album in Syracuse, NY. In a trio format the main instrumental focus is on the guitar and Kim seems to be up to the task as he opens the album in great style with a rocking “Laura Lee” and continues with a rolling “Sad News” both of which feature some solid playing. “Nuthin’ Like The Blues” has a Magic Slim vibe and “When You’ve Got A Good Thing” finds Kim hitting some sweet notes on a mid-paced tune before we get some John Lee Hooker style riffing on the instrumental ”Cobra” over which Kim finds some fine, biting phrasing. A similar guitar feel is there at the start of “Backstreet Woman”, a slower blues in which Kim’s anguished words about his ill-fated relationship with the title character are reflected in his strong playing.
The title track is excellent, Kim’s guitar riding over the core rhythm as he sings of having “Vicksburg on my mind” and the fact that he has “waited too long to knock on your cabin door” – obviously a man inspired – as he is again shortly afterwards in the uptempo shuffle “Turn Your Lamp On”. Separating these two tracks is the classy slow blues “Just A Dream”. The slow-rolling blues “I Miss Your Love” finds Kim playing some exciting slide over a steady rhythm section before a shuffle with some classic blues themes (“she changed the locks on my door”) explains why Kim is “Sleeping Rough”. The album closer “Going Back” ups the pace a bit with some nice guitar flourishes over a rock-solid foot-tapping rhythm.
When so many albums in the blues field are as much rock as blues it is relatively unusual to find one that has 100% blues content, but that is what Kim and his band have produced here. This is a solid album that can easily be recommended to blues fans out there for a dose of classic electric blues.