About Savoy Brown
Savoy Brown, originally known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band, are an English blues rock band formed in Battersea, south west London in 1965. Part of the late 1960s blues rock movement, Savoy Brown primarily achieved success in the United States, where they promoted their albums with non-stop touring.
The band was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds and harmonica player John O'Leary, following a chance meeting at Transat Imports record shop in Lisle Street, Soho, in 1965. In naming themselves, the group put together two words that conveyed an interesting balance of opposite sentiments and approaches.The word "Savoy" came from an American blues label, Savoy Records, as the members of the band thought the word "Savoy" sounded elegant. They added “Brown” because they thought it was an extremely plain word. Overall, the group called itself the Savoy Brown Blues Band to tell listeners that they played Chicago Blues-sounding music.
The original line-up included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Trevor Jeavons, bassist Ray Chappell, drummer Leo Manning and harmonica player John O'Leary . Portius was one of the first black blues musicians to be a part of a British rock band. Jeavons was replaced by Bob Hall shortly after the band's formation and the arrival of Martin Stone on guitars. Not long after Stone's arrival, O'Leary left the band as a consequence of a dispute with Manager Harry Simmonds. This line-up, sans O'Leary, appeared on the band's 1967 debut album, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers.
Further line-up changes ensued, with founding members Portius, Chappell and Manning departing along with recently recruited guitarist Stone over a short period of time. Chris Youlden and "Lonesome" Dave Peverett would become the band's new vocalist and 2nd guitarist respectively. Initially Bob Brunning and Hughie Flint filled the bassist and drummer positions on the single Taste and Try , but they were subsequently replaced by Rivers Jobe and Bill Bruford. Within a fortnight of Bruford's arrival in the band, he had been replaced by Roger Earl . This line-up recorded two albums in 1968, Getting to the Point, and Blue Matter, which demonstrated Youlden's rise as a songwriter alongside Simmonds. It was this line-up that released the single "Train to Nowhere" in 1969. A Step Further was released later that year, and introduced bassist Tony Stevens replacing Jobe. They developed a loyal core following in the United States, due to songs such as "I'm Tired," a driving, melodic song from the album.
Following the release of Raw Sienna Youlden departed the band. Raw Sienna had marked the first time that a single line-up of the band had recorded successive albums without any changes in personnel. The band recorded their next album, 1970's Looking In, as a four-piece, and following this album Peverett, Stevens, and Earl left to form Foghat with guitarist Rod Price.
Simmonds continued the band with Dave Walker on vocals, Paul Raymond on keyboards and guitars, Andy Silvester on bass, and Dave Bidwell on drums – almost the complete Chicken Shack line up.
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