Would you believe that I hadn't heard a single note of Savoy Brown's music until about ten years ago? I'd see their record covers on the inner sleeves of my Rolling Stones records. I'd hear friends rave about Kim Simmonds guitar playing. But there was nothing pulling me in their direction, especially not the fact that some of them went on to form Foghat. I had bigger fish to fry.
Then, a large record collection came my way and I suddenly owned a dozen Savoy Brown records. The rest, as they say, is history.
There is nothing like this band, at least not the five classic records that employ Chris Youlden on vocals. I might be telling you something you already know, but just in case you managed to avoid the band as I did all those years ago, give "Blue Matter" a spin, which is up top in its entirety.
Yes, it's a British blues record produced Mike Vernon. But there is something otherworldly going on most of time, from Youlden's unique vocal cool, to the seemingly endless space in the pockets of the grooves, to Kim Simmonds absolutely demonic guitar playing. The opening cut, "Train To Nowhere" veers towards 1968 psychedelia as much as it is a blues tune, "She's Got A Ring In His Nose," swings like a cross between Jethro Tull and Mose Allison, and the live side contains some of the most blistering blues ever committed to tape, with "May Be Wrong" showcasing everything Simmonds has in his bag of tricks.
"Blue Matter" is 50 years old and it is worth celebrating, whether you've been a Savoy Brown all these years, or like me, only got on board recently. And if you've never heard a note, well you are in for a real treat.