Savoy Brown – “Witchy Feelin’”feels fine
Savoy Brown has been around since the mid’ -60’s and recorded over 30 albums. While recording on Ruf in recent years, The band has often played with mystic themes, with titles such as Voodoo Moon and The Devil to Pay. Witchy Feelin‘ has definitely got some of that, woven in with some tunes that are just plain spectacular guitar-driven blues-rock.
While the band has had many different lineups in 52 years, Kim Simmonds is still and always has been part of it, and it has always delivered great blues-rock. You will know they have not slowed down by the first notes of the first song, “Why Did You Hoodoo Me?” And when the vocals kick in, you realize Kim Simmonds still sounds just as perfect for this music as he always has, as well as being a guitar wizard.
The pace slows a bit as things get swampy for”Living On The Bayou,” with a strong Dire Straits feel and a cast of interesting characters. “Can’t Stop the Blues,” on the other hand, is a down and dirty rocker which still manages to incorporate some spooky imagery into a basic tale of a breakup.
Next comes the title track. “Witchy Feeling” is an eerie song with some really tasty guitar fills and vocals from Simmonds.
We take a break from the spooky stuff for “Guitar Slinger”, a rocking bit of storytelling based on the first time Simmonds saw Roy Buchanon back in 1969. “Vintage Man” continues the nostalgia with a happy boogie-woogie about a man who loves everything old.
“Standing in a Doorway” is my favorite track on the album because the wicked slide guitar brings such joy to my heart. It’s a slow Southern-rock flavored ballad that simply shimmers with Simmond’s guitar magic. .It is followed by the flat-out rock of “Memphis Blues” and “Can’t Find Paradise.”
Wah-wah hits you and tremolo abounds in “Thunder, Lightning, and Rain,” and the drummer keeps the beat pounding while the bass is thrumming as Simmonds takes us back into the dark zone.
The album ends with a beautiful jazz instrumental. “Close to Midnight,: which gives you the feeling that whatever has gone before, it is all going to be all right.
All three members of Savoy Brown do an excellent job here, but Kim Simmonds is the beating heart of Savoy Brown, and after 50 years, he has never sounded better.Witchy Feelin’ is a wonder.