Brown – Concert Review
30, 2009 (Friday Night)
Simmonds – Guitar –Vocals – Harp
Sorrentino - Bass Guitar – Backing Vocals
Staiano - Drums - Backing Vocals
Brown is now a three piece band that is continuing the same
tradition that they started back in the 1960’. Quality rock and
blues performed with the finest musicians available….and no
exception here. These “Boogie Brothers” are now covering new
areas in a European
tour, this stop was their second to last in Melle - Germany.
band came on stage right on time, the audience anticipating a good
time, knowing the bands reputation but not knowing
if they still had the chops to be classified as “Would
Definitely See Again” status. Brigitte and I are here to tell you
that we checked the box marked “Incredible Awesome Performance”
Bar none! I’ll try to give this review as much life and excitement
as we received from them on this night.
As I've Got You
Has Your Heart Gone
Much Of A Good Thing
Of The Blue
On Rolling / It Hurts Me Too
Simmonds: At 61 - He still has something to offer that most
musicians have lost, passion
and a deep desire to keep on, keeping on. While talking with Kim
after the show, I told him that he hasn’t changed a bit since
1972, I also explained that I had no reason to brown-nose him, or
fluff his ego, it was just true. I also mentioned to him that during
the show he showed no signs of boredom and he was intent on getting
his music out there more than anything else.
this night nothing was rushed, it was all very laid back and
comfortable for musicians and audience alike.
between each number Kim would chat with us about different things.
He told us he is of German decent and his name is Ackerman. On the
other side of his family was the Simmonds. He was born in Wales, and
as with Richard Burton and Tom Jones the Simmonds family members
were coal miners. Kim
spent five minutes relaying this
story to us, and the German audience even caught his humour
and burst out laughing with him in the appropriate sections.
doesn’t do an act, he doesn’t play that phoney rock star crap
for anyone, or for any amount of money and never has to my knowledge.
As he told me himself, he like to fly under the radar screen. Kim is
modest, humble and decent. To this day, he has a following that you
just wouldn’t believe, they all come out to see him play.
talking to the two other members of this trio, I am pleasantly
amazed that the band has many discussions on how the performance
went on that night as well as keeping their sense of direction and
balance. As told to me, we don’t phone in the performance, it’s
either real and emotional, or we don’t do it, simple as that. The
drummer told me that they mostly agree on everything they do,
although once in awhile when someone disagrees with some aspect of
the performance or tour, they all sit down and hash it out together
until the situation is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
stage Kim has a very unique playing style, and presence. What he
does is relate to the audience exactly how he’s feeling, as if
he’s playing just for you personally.
he doesn’t do is posture, pose or show any false pretence, what
you are getting is all real and honest, through and through.
is a tried and true Rock & Blues veteran. As for Savoy Brown as
a band, well friends they have had a few dozen personal changes over
the years. It was explained to me this way:
say you’re walking down a street in New York City, you stop and
ask one hundred people about Savoy Brown, you’ll soon find out
that twenty of them have been in the band at one time or another, or
have had some affiliation with the band”.
Which made me laugh, it’s so true, well it seems like that
at times. Even our friend Ric Lee the one and only drummer for Ten
Years After did a short stint with Savoy Brown on one of their tours,
with Nathaniel Peterson on vocals and bass guitar.
did say something that sounded a little trouble-some to me: “Do
you remember record albums?” he asked “Well they are virtually a
thing of the past, as is Savoy Brown – people now don’t even
realize our place in musical history, they don’t have a clue any
longer”. The old fans
are getting older and dying off, and the new fans have only read
about us in music history books.
Kim’s voice was very solemn, sad and spoke of loss, but I
unequivocally disagree with his assessment. The music transition is
far from complete, youngsters of say six years old to young adults
their mid twenties are listening to the classic bands of the
1960’s and early 1970’s for the first time – the blues are
very much alive – and rock and roll will never die. We understand
your concern Kim, but check out what your friend Ric Lee and Ten
Years After are doing NOW. Just a fantastic continuation of an
outstanding band for all ages!
tight by musicians – was loose by choice and feel – and kept
interesting by the band and the audiences participation. Stories in
between from Kim, and an audience standing / sitting in silent
respect as he spoke. Kim talked in a quiet normal voice, with no
problem….he also smiled a lot as he’d tune his guitar that was
being stubborn under the hot lights. Kim at one point respectfully
asked that the hot spot light be turned off for awhile, as it was
sitting directly above his head.
songs were played at longer than album length, roughly eight to
twelve minutes each. Maybe fifteen or longer for “Hellbound Train”
and “Tell Mama”.
each song some surprise would occur, some riff, some band member
would play something unique or Kim would bounce around the stage and
play closer to the bass player or drummer. Kim may be the leader but
you never get that idea by watching him work, because his work is
also his play. He’s just one of the boys in the band.
surprise - he asked us if the band sounded good? He then said “I
have always wanted to hear it from your point of view”, and with
that he jumped off the stage, and right into the middle of the
audience and put his arms right around my girlfriend Brigitte! The
audience, band, Brigitte and Kim all loved it.
the beginning of the show, when Kim and band entered, and we all
said to ourselves, yep that’s Kim Simmons alright and the applause
finally died down, there was a respectful silence. Until Kim was
ready to speak, he tuned his guitar, and then explained how they did
it the old fashioned way in the old days – basically just plug in
and play and most times out of tune. Now with this electronic tuner
there’s no thinking involved. I’m sure Kim was going to
elaborate on this topic by saying that it’s so hard to play the
old song now when they are in tune they loose some of their heart
and soul by being too clinically clean and not so rough, raw and
earthy sounding. In fact on two songs Kim tuned up the old fashioned
way and a little out of tune on purpose he told us.
audiences are the best in the world for many reasons. Here’s a few
don’t shout song request unless asked for from the artists on
stage. You can move anywhere in the room without a problem, at any
time, to get a drink, go to the bathroom or take photos.
in point, Kim got down on his knees and was really into the song he
was doing. There was a very quiet section and the audience froze for
as long as that solemn part continued.
one took any photos, or made a sound, everyone stood perfectly
still, all eyes fixed to the stage and watching Kim play his heart
out. The artist respect for the audience returned in kind back to
the artists. Wonderful and rare to see most times. Brigitte was
standing right next to another photographer and there were two
others over by the wall with cameras at their side. No one in the
venue set off a flash during this time, or clicked a photo that I
was aware of.
another note, Brigitte and I know 75% of the people in attendance,
the venue owners, the roadies and their agent who comes to every
show. All the regulars, and die hard blues fans all.
is a great pleasure to know these people, as we have built up long
lasting friendships with them in the last seven years – just a
music loving family. Our thanks to everyone of them!
best part about a small club like this is, it’s small. The band
has nowhere to hide, they have to pack up their equipment and this
takes time. During this period they are accessible and available for
a personal chats and questions. This band in particular is really
into their fan base throughout the world.
kindly signing our guestbook, I went between the bass player and the
drummer for a chat. If another fan wanted something from the
musicians I would talk with who ever was available. The great part
for me which I neglected to mention is that these musicians are from
my home state New York. One is from Brooklyn and the other from Long
Island and this fed right into my English speaking upbringing. Home
guys, a real pleasure for me. Kim I was told is living on the West
Coast / California I believe.
Short Chat with Kim Simmonds:
of the people that I really wanted to meet all my life were Kim
Simmonds and Peter Green. In a five day period I accomplished both
and at the same venue in Germany.
to believe my good luck and fortune.
have you got a minute to chat I asked, sure always for a fan, what
do you need he asked?
and I have a present for you, and I handed him the Ten Years After
book written by Herb Staehr, hello from Ric Lee also Kim and we’re
also friends with Nathanial Peterson – great great as his eyes
focused on me in a different way. I had a great time with Ric on
that tour, I must phone him up again. Kim skimmed through the book
two or three times while we stood there…first putting his glasses
on and laughing, you’re 60 I said – 61 he corrected me, so you
earned the right to wear glasses don’t ya think Kim…again his
mentioned his children in passing, I said how many do you have Kim?
Three he replied as he told me their ages with real pride as only a
Band About Kim:
been with him for five years and known him longer, and they are
amazed by the people who come out to see him and the band, how
humble Kim is in every area, and how many guitar legends he has
known over the years and played with, on stage and off. The list is
a who’s who of Rock and Blues that’s almost endless.
was great, a perfect evening was had by all. Brigitte, Reinhard,
Myself, Wolfgang and Birgit…….this was another dream come true.
On Wednesday of next week we meet another living legend Mr. Peter
Green right here at the same venue, we bought our tickets in advance.