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  Metal Land » Modern Rock » Stoner, Blues Metal, Grunge » Simo

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As if creeping from the Southern swamps and mist-soaked cotton fields, SIMOs Stranger Blues is the perfect table setter for the Nashville power trios vibrant new LP, Let Love Show the Way. The song is a blueprint for reinvigorating the fusion of jazz improvisation, downhome blues and classic R&B, as well as these genres psychedelic Brit Invasion and countrified Southern-rock manifestations. The rest of the record follows suit, a souped-up vehicle transporting the band on a deeply satisfying, off-the-cuff musical journey.
Cut entirely live in full, unbroken takesvocals and solos includedthe sound is primal, sweltering and immediate. We live and die by the take, says singer-guitarist JD Simo. We dont edit, and if there are overdubs, theyre minimal. I want it to be unaffected and pure. For me, the music that always resonates most is when a performance is captured. Thats what I love, and thats what we go for.
The first album ever recorded at Macon, Ga.s Big Housethe communal home of the Allman Brothers Band during their late 60s/early 70s heydayLet Love Show the Way finds SIMO not just reveling in the hallowed spaces unique mojo and history, but taking it to a fresh and inspired place. As a musical unit, Simo, his longtime drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro have an undeniable chemistry, taken to even greater heights with JD playing Duane Allmans 1957 gold-top Les Paul for every track on the record. This is the same six-string heard on the first two Allman Brothers LPs, the same storied guitar that delivered the unforgettable riff on Derek & the Dominoes Layla. JD is now part of an elite group of artistsincluding Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Wilcos Nels Clinewho share the rare honor of having wielded this talismanic instrument.
Theres definitely a magical element to the recording, Simo says of Let Love Show the Way. The vibe of the Big House, using Duanes guitar, plus all the touring wed done leading up to it, all the refinement of the material on the roadit was a perfect storm.
Let Love Show the Way was not plannedresults this potent are difficult to script. In fact, when SIMO headed down to Macon, the band had an entirely different set of songs already approved for release by its label, Mascotthis last-minute trip to the Big House was merely intended to yield a pair of bonus tracks for a deluxe edition. But with engineer Nick Worley at the boards of a stripped-down mobile recording unit, the band caught fire, burning through more than a dozen tracks in less than 48 hours. Once they heard the raw and electrifying intensity of the mixes, they didnt think twice about abandoning the original plan and rolling with what suddenly felt so right.
As the producer of the project, I couldnt live myself if we didnt use these songs, Simo says. I just felt it was better than anything the band had ever capturedso we decided to scrap the original record and build this new one around everything we recorded at the Big House.
This choice to record at this historic location is a nod to JDs lifelong reverence and respect for the musical pioneers who have come before him. When he was just three years old, seeing The Blues Brothers and Elvis Presleys 68 comeback special changed his life. I was transfixed, he says. With The Blues Brothers, youve got John Lee Hooker with Muddy Waters band, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chaka Khan right after she made one of my favorite records of all time with Rufus, Rags to Riches. Not to mention some of the greatest rhythm & blues musicians to ever walk the planetMatt Guitar Murphy from Chess, that incredible original horn section from Saturday Night Live, Willie Hall from Stax, who played with Isaac Hayes. I mean, its a comedy and its funny, but as far as exposure to some really heavy musicI wanted to be Steve Cropper, I wanted to be John Lee Hooker. And it was the same with the Elvis specialhes in the black leather suit, still good looking and charming and singing his ass off. Seeing The Blues Brothers and that Elvis comeback special made me want to play music.
By the time he was five, JD was begging his parents for a guitar. They obliged, and by age 10much like his peers Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassahe was regularly playing bars backed by older musicians. By 15, hed dropped out of school, put his own band together and was touring full time. For six years, he says, I just lived in a van and played all over the country and never really had a home.
When he was 21, JD moved to Nashville, whereafter making a living as a session guitarist and moonlighting in bar bands for half a decadehe made an important decision. Though hed learned much from his experiences as a sideman, the time had come for him to pursue his own muse. He met likeminded musician Abrashoff and original SIMO bassist Frank Swart, and they set off on a journey together, hitting the road hard and honing their craft. During this time, the group also recorded its self-titled 2012 debut LP, which Rolling Stone later hailed as soulful psychedelic blues rock with an improvisational bent. Eventually, Swart left the band, making way for Shapiro to join on bass. When we played with him it was so immediate, JD says. It was like, Where the hell have you been?"
While Simo is comfortable with his role as a bandleader, hes never wanted to be a solo artist. A band is something very unique and special, he says. Youre only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Adam is one of my best friends. He and I have been through the whole scope of the journey so far together. And now, with Eladwho has taken the band to a new levelwe truly are a team. Were brothers.
Its a sentiment thats reflected in the bands egalitarian/improvisational approach to songwriting, even in the way SIMO sets up for showsin a straight line across the stage, with no member given more weight than any other. I cant emphasize enough how much I love these guys and what they bring to our sound, JD says. Adam is an absolutely immaculate improviser. Hes completely free and technically the best musician in the band. Ive done hundreds of shows with him, and I still dont know what hes gonna do or where hes gonna take thingsits inspiring. And Elad, he completes my musical thoughts. He is full of passion and enthusiasm and authenticity. He has absolutely no filter, both sociallywhich is hilariousand musically, which is always incredible. In many ways, hes the heart and soul of the band.
Together, theyre an adventurous rock & roll trinity, a thriving creative partnership completed by JDs combustible guitar playing and soulful vocals, and Let Love Show the Way is a game-changing album from a band in the midst of an evolutionary breakthrough. Im a stranger here, JD belts on the records opening salvo, all mysterious swagger and smoky, downhome grit. But for a band with such with such memorable songs, uncommon rapport and awe-inspiring musicality, SIMO can take solace in knowing the line wont hold true much longer.

JD SIMO- Guitar, Vocals

Simo - 2011
Let Love Show The Way - 2016

Nashville, TN

Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock

: http://www.facebook.com/simotheband/timeline?ref=page_internal


| | IP

Simo - 2011

: http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/simo_f1/simo/

"Simo's new self-titled full-length such a glorious piece of rocking blues in the tradition of Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield and other guitar-crazy heroes of the distant past." - (Edd Hurt - Nashville Scene January 18, 2012)

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6537 | - 6 , 2006 | : 15:32 - 21 ., 2016 1

| | IP
Love, Volume 1 - 2015

: http://simotheband.bandcamp.com/album/love-volume-1

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6537 | - 6 , 2006 | : 23:10 - 22 ., 2016 2

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Let Love Show The Way - 2016

: http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/simo_f1/let_love_show_the_way/

Let Love Show the Way is the first album ever recorded at the Allman Brothers Band's communal Sixties home, the Big House. J.D. even played Duane Allmans 1957 gold-top Les Paul on every song on the album. This is the same guitar heard on the first two Allman Brothers Band albums and Derek and the Dominoes Layla. J.D. is now part of an elite group of guitaristsincluding Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Nels Clinewho share the rare honor of having wielded this instrument. Simo is rounded out by J.D.'s longtime drummer, Adam Abrashoff, and bassist Elad Shapiro.

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6537 | - 6 , 2006 | : 23:43 - 26 ., 2016 3

| | IP

Hey everyone! The fella's and I are really proud to announce our new album "Rise & Shine", which will be released September 15th.

Simo - People Say (Official Music Video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fTq-KrvzVc

Official music video for People Say from Simo's new album Rise & Shine. Available Sept 15 on CD, 2LP & Digital.

6537 | - 6 , 2006 | : 13:54 - 16 ., 2017 4

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