Savoy Brown’s Ain’t Done Yet says it all in the title. Self-assured, self-knowing, and riding high on the critical acclaim of last year’s City Night. Still standing tall, founder member Kim Simmonds alongside bass player Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grimm also apply the adage that “if the record ain’t broke don’t change it”, as they plough forward with their umpteenth release.
Not that we’re hearing the same-old tunes here. No. There may only be a variety of notes you can apply playing music, and the way you put them together may stick them in one marketing genre or another, but it’s the spirit the players imbue those clusters of sound that move us.
Thus here, the songs tend to be short, lyrically they gel to get their message across – their themes and intents readily apparent in their titles, no sense of irony or affected ambivalence present. Solos too tend to be brief – For rather than dally too long in the sun rather we get to hear the dancing moods of Simmonds’ six strings in between and over a driving killer rhythm section.
Ain’t Done Yet applies an old school A & R approach whereby the numbers flow naturally into each other… Because, dear friend, they expect you to listen to them.
‘All Gone Wrong’ is a slow and bass heavy night cruising blues rock number but driving like panzer down the main street rather than a Pontiac. DeSalvo’s bass is still as keen on ‘Devil’s Highway’ but a slight detour by way of the border between Texas and Mexico has Simmonds delivering some subtle guitar lines – Musically sweet whereas the lyrics point out you shouldn’t be deceived that you’re heading down the wrong on the devil’s highway.
‘River on the Rise’ proves aurally intriguing, throwing some convincing shades that evoke the groove of Three Dog Night hit ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’ with a thick noted solo settled in. While on ‘Borrowed Time’ there’s an effect laden guitar empowered over a firm blues rock bedding – It swings and swirls, entices and surprises in gentle caress.
The 12-bar gentle rocking and rolling of title track ‘Ain’t Done Yet’ itself paints the picture for where the band are at, but truth be told there’s more musical adventure elsewhere. The acoustic country boogie of ‘Rocking In Louisiana’ gets let down by some unconvincing backing vocals and while the dirty shuffle and harmonica blowing boogie of ‘Jaguar Car’ is noise worthy, it being a paean to the vehicle prowess as a potential pick-up truck for loving, could be misconstrued in the politically-deficit world we’re often forced to live in.
Shining examples of musical diversity and strength however can be found on songs like ‘Feel Like A Gypsy’ and ‘Soho Girl’. The former features dreamy arpeggio chords over a slight Santana beat, with weighted notes, slides, and a deft use of both left and right hand intonations wherein the song benefits from its longer length. In mighty opposition, ‘Soho Girl’ is gruff power chords and brief explosions of lead guitar that gives the likes of Motorhead and Blue Cheer a run for their money.
The album closes with the expressive guitar instrumental ‘Crying Guitar’ that does exactly what it says on the tin. Savoy Brown aren’t rewriting history here; they’re making good their own place in it.
Savoy Brown’s Ain’t Done Yet can be purchased by clicking here.