Friday, February 17, 2017

Savoy Brown - 1970 - Raw Sienna

Savoy Brown 
Raw Sienna

01. A Hard Way To Go 2:17
02. That Same Feelin' 3:36
03. Master Hare 4:45
04. Needle And Spoon 3:18
05. A Little More Wine 4:51
06. I'm Crying 4:17
07. Stay While The Night Is Young 3:07
08. Is That So 7:40
09. When I Was A Young Boy 3:02

Chris Youlden—vocals and piano (on tracks 4, 6 and 9)
Kim Simmonds—lead guitar and piano (on tracks 2 and 3)
"Lonesome" Dave Peverett—rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar and bottleneck (on track 5)
Tone Stevens—bass
Roger Earl—drums and all other percussion

With the release of their fifth album, Savoy Brown starts hitting their stride. Raw Sienna is the first of three masterpieces in a row for Kim Simmonds and company, as well as Chris Youlden's finest hour with the band. (So fine, in fact, that he would leave the band soon after for his own solo career.) He and Kim would continue their experiments, begun on the previous album A Step Furthur, with horns and orchestration, and thus continue to expand the vocabulary of blues/rock. Some tracks, such as "Needle and Spoon," swing as well as any produced by jazzman Dave Brubeck, with intense lyrics that undercut the nonstop groove with pain. (Does anyone out there really think this is a prodrug song? Listen again: "You married to H, you know you married for life!") "Hard Way to Go" and "A Little More Wine" would deservedly become concert staples, while "Stay While the Night is Young" finds Youlden at his most romantic and tender. Kim was also beginning to compose some of the most eloquent instrumentals in rock: "That Same Feelin'" continues the 1960's-adventure-movie-soundtrack feel of "Waiting in the Bamboo Grove" from A Step Furthur, while "Is That So" foreshadows the deep introspection of Savoy's next masterpiece, Looking In. Most bands would be lucky to have one album half as good as Raw Sienna; the fact that Savoy Brown climbed so many peaks in their illustrious career shows the desire and the determination of leader Kim Simmonds to constantly reinvent and challange both himself and his fellow musicians.

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