"Bob Putignano says that Savoy Brown's latest release, Voodoo Moon, is the best they have done in decades. Read about why you may want this flashback in your collection." Chip Eagle for Blueswax

Savoy Brown
" Voodoo Moon"
Ruf Records

Blueswax Rating 8

Rocking Like The Old Days. Best SB Album in a Long, Long Time

To commemorate their forty-fifth anniversary, Savoy Brown has recently released a new record on Ruf Records titled Voodoo Moon. Since 1966 original guitarist/vocalist Kim Simmonds has been using the Savoy Brown moniker where there have been multiple personnel changes, this new band ensemble compares favorably to their earliest configurations. All in all there are nine original tunes that were either authored or co-authored by Simmonds, two co-authored by the bands vocalist Joe Whiting, who also plays sax. There's one instrumental, Whiting sings on all others except two tracks where Simmonds holds down the vocal chores. This is a very solid effort, every track is well executed, well mixed, and dynamic, Whiting's addition really rounds out the band and gives it a solid edge.

The disc opens with "Shockwaves," which has a "Smokestack Lightning" vibe; "Natural Man" offers tasty guitar lead and riffs from Simmonds. "Too Much Money" adds Andy Rudy's keyboard that nicely rounds out the sound of the band, Simmonds' overdubbed guitars are magical, and Whiting's vocals are really starting to grow on me. We have to wait until track five, "Look At the Sun," to hear Simmonds vocals, and he sounds great, Whiting is not lost in the shuffle as his rhythmic sax phrasing adds much drama, even though (at times) it's a bit repetitive. "24/7" storms sans vocals; it is high-powered instrumental blues-rock at its near best and where there are more effective sax phrasings from Whiting. The title track finds Simmonds (once again) in the pocket, his guitar distinctly steps out and wails. The finale, "Meet the Blues Head On," is perhaps the weakest song, but, hey, it's well sequenced as the closing tune on "Voodoo Moon."

Having witnessed Savoy Brown play all night into the wee hours at the Fillmore East, this new edition of Savoy Brown finds them rocking like they did back in the day. It's refreshing to hear Simmonds play some his best guitar since I don't know when. Kudos to producers Greg Spencer, Simmonds, and to Ruf Records who have really reloaded and reenergized Savoy Brown; it's been a long time coming, and definitely worth the wait.

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at www.SoundsofBlue.com. Bob maybe contacted at: bob8003@yahoo.com

Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com