CD REVIEW: SIMO – Let Love Show The Way
29 January, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
SIMO’s second album, Let Love Show The Way, is in many ways a history lesson. Recorded at The Big House in Macon, Georgia (former communal home to the Allman Brothers Band) it’s a tour de force of retro blues rock that sounds like it is alive – because it is: live off the floor (“we live or die by the take,” says guitarist/vocalist JD Simo), with next-to-no overdubs.
The history lesson doesn’t end with the recording technique. Musically the band reference a dizzying array of artists – The Doors, Jeff Beck, Hendrix, Cream, psych rock, heavy blues, and – of course – the down-home countrified rock of The Allmans – and still managing to sound relevant, vibrant and new at the same time. It’s no wonder Joe Bonamassa rated Simo as “one of the best [guitarists] out there.”
The Sixties trip is a blast, man, and highlights abound. Can’t Say Her Name is a searing tale of a woman who can’t be trusted, but can’t be ignored. Becky’s Last Occupation has a rollicking groove that is infectious. I’d Rather Die In Vain is nearly-ten-minutes of improvised blues rock that pulls equal parts Allmans and Dead together in guitargasmic joy.
Drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro share Simo’s mojo, playing with a fire in their bellies and a jazz section’s veracity and skill. Simo also had the honour of wielding Duane Allman’s 1957 gold-top Les Paul throughout the record, no doubt lending him some of its legendary powers.
As if Let Love Show The Way’s ten irrepressible tracks aren’t enough to warm your soul, three bonus tracks are tacked on to the end for good measure.
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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE