Artist: Savoy Brown
Album: Witchy Feelin’
Label: Ruf Records
Release Date: 8.25.17
Savoy Brown has never been an outfit to stray from classic themes or the immutable presence of the otherworldly culture of the deep south. Indeed, Witchy Feelin’ proves yet again the power behind the good ol’ black magic brewing, slowhand-adjacent approach to the blues that the boys from Battersea have been known for. Though the group may be entering a Kim Simmons vintage hour, Savoy Brown has inarguably retained every ounce of gumption that carried them to popularity 50 years ago.
Witchy Feelin’ is so very in tune with the idea of old hallmarks of the band that it plays out similarly to how a live a show in 2017 might. “Guitar Slinger” radiates the feeling of an intimate 25-minute mark of a Savoy Brown performance, finding Simmons utilizing the track both as a respite and a means to secure his place in the blues-rock pantheon. The same is found in “Can’t Find Paradise,” which appears to be the sonic equivalent of introducing the band on stage before diving into the truly combative guitarwork that will send the old folks home.
Despite the reformed lineup, Savoy Brown can still generate moxie. “Thunder, Lightning and Rain” is as close to the early 70’s model of the band that Simmons and his troupe of misfits have achieved in years. Still, as the gnarled root of rock becomes ever-apparent Savoy Brown, too, shows its age as an institution becomes legacy act.
The record may not find any new converts, but Witchy Feelin’ is certainly tailor-made for the Savoy devotees out there. In continuing to piece together blues with no boundaries, Savoy Brown is simply continuing to do what it does best.
– Jake Tully