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SIMO - 'Rise & Shine' Album Review

1. Return

2. Meditation

3. Shine

4. People Say

5. Don't Waste Time

6. I Want Love

7. The Climb

8. Light The Candle

9. Be With You

10. The Light

11. I Pray

“Rise & Shine” is the new album from Nashville trio SIMO – and signifies a definite 'groove' shift from the last album – the altogether more straight Bluesy and Rocky “Let Love Show The Way”.

The band comprise singer, guitarist and namesake front man JD Simo; drummer Adam Abrashoff; and bassist Elad Shapiro — and they spent most of 2016 on tour. They played 215 shows that year (including supporting Beth Hart, Blackberry Smoke and the late great Gregg Allman) leaving behind their Nashville base behind and travelling to nine different countries in support “Let Love Show the Way”.

“Rise & Shine” blurs the lines between genres and the years throughout the 11 tracks. Eager to explore unchartered territory, the band delve into some psychedelic grooves, plenty of soul and a whole lot more . . . the trio creating layers of sound that push the three-piece format to the limit.

Proceedings get underway with the funky guitar of JD Simo kicking off the slow soul groove of “Return”, which is followed by the equally excellent “Meditation”, with a definite Prince-like feel. The pace and style changes on the psychedelic ramble of “Shine”, driven by the pulsating rhythm section of Abrashoff and Shapiro,.

Simo digs into more great guitar grooves on “People Say” - again as funky as it comes! A stand out is the glorious ballad of “I Want Love” with a soaring falsetto vocal from the front man – it's a beautiful track. For a complete 'swerve' again is the raucous opening salvo of the lengthy Zep-like “Light The Candle”, which doesn't overstay its welcome at seven minutes plus.

The trio excel again on the slow-burner “Be With You” - a song tinged with a classic retro Southern soul feel; this great album is wrapped up in epic fashion with the brilliant “I Pray” - it recalls the magnificence of Jim Morrison fronting The Doors – with a spoken-word vocal, shimmering guitar work and fierce improvisational guitar passages – a truly memorable 13 minutes.

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Review - Grahame Rhodes

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