“Let Love Show The Way” – Simo
Simo Is an American Rock band founded in 2010. Led By talented guitarist JD Simo as the band’s leader, they are a blues band that is known for their improvisation during live sets. They have released one album “Let Love Show The Way” Based out of Nashville, TN.
Band Members include:
- Adam Abrashoff – Drums
- Elad Shapiro – Bass
- JD Simo – Guitar, Vocals
What caught my attention immediately was the heavy influence of 70’s rock riffs in JD’s quiver. He really encapsulates the blues into a pill that’s easily swallowed. The first song “Strangers Blues” an Elmore James cover is uniquely redone to incorporate Duane Allman-like chord progressions, it honestly sounds like one way out. Duane Allman is cited in the liner notes as a “Thank you” so I think he had a hand in helping the band get off the ground.
At first, listen Simo strikes me as an Allman Brothers cover band. That was a downer. As the music progressed I noticed one thing, the musicians were talented. The opening riff and the refrain sounded like “One Way Out” from a Daune Allman tablature book. I think that Duane Allman has a serious influence on JD’s guitar playing. They strike me as the kind of band that you’d love to play at your bar. They encourage live recordings of their shows so in a grateful dead kind of way or phish. You pay for the music experience but not the music. I like that. If their live shows are as good as some have been say and I have witnessed online then I might follow-up with this artist at a show on their huge country-wide tour.
With that being said the music is great but it lacks a certain sense of cohesion. The artists are almost trying to be a band of individuals. It’s as if they are trying to outplay each other and the bassist (Elad) who might be the most underrated member of the band. On their second album, follow to the E.P. “Love” The band shows that they really can play together as a unit. It’s a strong debut for them. However “Let Love Show” is not one to sleep on. It focuses on composition and intense musicianship that we rarely see in today’s music. The musicianship is really special but the songwriting lacks a sense of soul. I feel like they focus more on their solos than they do the content of the lyrics.
I was originally attracted to this band because of their powerhouse charging style that allowed for me to dig through my stacks and realize rarely do artists in the indie-blues collective plays like this.
They recorded “Let Love Show” at “The Big House” an Allman Brothers recording hotspot located in Macon,GA. JD Simo also used Duane Allman’s guitar. However mystical the big house maybe, it may have influenced the band too much and the sought after effect of being in a legendary location recording your album took its toll. On some of these tracks, particularly the bonus tracks where the album loses me the guitar riffs don’t make sense and the timbre is lacking because you’re getting the feeling that once again virtuous guitarist JD Simo is overplaying and out playing his band mates.
They had a solid first album and I’d like to see it again on the next album. I would buy “Let Love Show” to have it in my record collection because it has such great roots of The Allman Brothers and I am partial to their music but it leaves me thinking what is Simo’s identity. They have a strong sense of who they are as musicians and their talent is certainly not in question. The songwriting and lyricism lacks.
Lyrics play such a huge role in the artistic process. One question I always ask when interviewing an artist is “Who influences and inspires you?” Sometimes, it’s not a musician at all it can be literature etc., or a genre you would least expect. It almost as if simo is picking up the embers of a band that no longer exists. And a time period (rock music) that died in the 90’s. Which begs the eternal question can rock be resuscitated? I am rooting for the guys because everyone try to do it but no has been able to accomplish the insurmountable task unless they were playing through its death and are keeping it on life support. I.e. Pearl Jam, RHCP, Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell.
The task of reviving Rock & Roll, can it be done? I look at today’s new artist’s and one band comes to mind, The Black Keys. Simo and The Black Keys can’t be compared due to style differences – the musical compositions are too different. They are doing what Simo is trying to do. Revive Rock & Roll. Everyone is trying to do it, this is a current trend. Regenerate lost genres. From soul to rockabilly, think leon bridges to J.D. McPherson. This is a current trend in music.
Musicians are trying to make something real and destroy the corruption of the young music lover, to influence them with music like the Allman Brothers. The artist prove a point that there is still real talent in this world and it finds its way out of Nashville. I am looking forward to watching this band grow and prosper because I think their talent is self-spoken. They just need to learn how to play as a unit. That was one thing the Allman Brothers always accomplished . They never outplay each other . Like jazz musicians everyone leap in by listening to one and other and play by ear when it was time to solo they knew.
|1. Stranger Blues|
|2. Two Timin’ Woman|
|3. Can’t Say Her Name|
|4. I Lied|
|6. Long May You Sail|
|7. I’ll Always Be Around
8. Becky’s Last Occupation
|9. I’d Rather Die In Vain|
|10. Today I’m Here|
|11. Let Love Show The Way [Bonus Track]
12. Ain’t Doin’ Nothin’ [Bonus Track]
13. Please Be With Me [Bonus Track]