SIMO

SIMO

The Magic Lightnin' Boys

Fri · August 4, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Southgate House Revival-Revival Room

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

SIMO
SIMO
"Simo's new self-titled full-length is such a glorious piece of rocking blues in the tradition of Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield and other guitar-crazy heroes of the distant past." - Edd Hurt

They say that rock is dead. Fans lament the loss of breath-taking musicianship and a sound that explodes with heart and soul. Fortunately, there is a beacon of light that can be found in the burgeoning Nashville rock scene and that is the band SIMO. SIMO is rooted in the blues-rock power trios of the late '60s and their undeniable talent and swagger will lead rock into the next decade and beyond. The three young men of SIMO fuse the improvisational brilliance of jazz, the gritty power of rock, and the soulfulness of blues to create a transcendent live experience. Their set lists, songs, and solos change every night and there is an energy in the air that keeps the audience wondering, "What's going to happen next?"

During the past three years, the band has built a name for itself on the touring circuit by performing at music festivals including Mountain Jam, Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Bonnaroo. The audiences that have been lucky enough to see SIMO play live have been mesmerized by their technical ability and song crafting prowess that pays tribute to so many of the band's musical influences.

SIMO is virtuoso guitarist J.D. Simo, Frank Swart on bass, and Adam Abrashoff on drums. Born in the shadow of Wrigley Field, J.D. took up the guitar at an early age and obsessively studied the recorded works of his musical forefathers. Realizing at age 15 that music would be his life, he dropped out of school, hit the road, and has never looked back. His journey led him to Nashville where, in a desperate attempt to pay rent and eat, he gathered up his guitar and headed down to Lower Broadway. Playing for tips on the street, he eventually caught the eye of Don Kelley of the renowned Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western World. Linking up with Kelley and cranking out country-western classics for the honky tonk crowd, J.D. routinely dropped jaws as he unleashed his blues-soaked take on the country favorites. It didn't take long until his name was on the lips of every discerning music aficionado in town.

Boston native Frank Swart has an impressive list of credits as a bassist, producer, and co-writer for artists like Morphine, Patty Griffin, and Norah Jones. Born and bred in Akron, OH, drummer Adam Abrashoff began his musical journey playing with noted Akron blues musicians Dan Auerbach, Pat Sweany, and Mike Lenz. Thereafter, he moved to Nashville and has built a rock solid reputation as a session player. Together, these three master musicians conjure a sorcerous sound that assaults your senses in the best way possible and always leaves you wanting more.

Shaking off the demise of CDs, SIMO harkens back to the days when bands built followings not online, but night after night, show after show, on stage. And one thing is for certain...after you see SIMO live you will want to see them again (and again), and will frantically check your local listings to see when they're coming back to your town.
The Magic Lightnin' Boys
The Magic Lightnin' Boys
If nothing else, you have to give props to the The Magic Lightnin’ Boys for one thing; they have been able to make a nod to the past sound fresh and modern. Their combination of hard rock and blues should sound similar to other bands who have tried (and failed) to make this sound appealing to a generation who has heard it all, but it doesn’t. Not only does it retain a keen sense of identity at all times, it also serves as the perfect springboard for the new foursome out of Ohio. The songwriting matches that of a veteran band that have been playing together for years, and coupled with vocalist Casey Gomez’s passionate wails, it won’t be hard for them to land a strong fanbase. The funky presence of the bass throughout the entire release meshes perfectly with the organic production, especially on highlight track “Broken Dream”. Gomez emotes perfectly while reminiscing about a time that showed nothing but promise. The track takes on a slow-burning pace that explodes outward in a maelstrom of needle-sharp solos and frantic drumming at the end, and this shows the real strength of the band in general. The instruments are played in tandem, never overshadowing each other; it creates a dynamic listen that can shift from soulful and heartfelt to aggressive and boisterous. “Devil’s Lettuce” swings from a low-key, subdued soul ditty to a high-energy blues jam several times throughout the track quite naturally.

There’s certainly something to be said of the style that The Magic Lightnin’ Boys have embraced here; it hearkens back to the days when music was just a bit more simplistic. It’s a nostalgia that may not resonate with all listeners, but it will be incredibly rewarding for those who do connect to it. The inclusion of the harmonica in some songs reminds the listener of that dirty southern rock sound that the band consistently uses as an influence, but it never completely overtakes the blues sound that pervades the album. By very precisely taking these influences and injecting it with a modern approach to songwriting, the band stands at the cusp of something very exciting. The depth that the band do bring to their sound is the individual members playing with such an obvious passion coupled with the personal lyrics present throughout The Magic Lightnin’ Boys. Without the heart-rending lyrics of “Couples Skate”, it would be easy to call it the generally predictable “slow song” of the release. As it stands, it is one of the strongest vocal performances here and ranks among the best here. The most exciting track is the concluding instrumental track “Stones Throw”, which points to the band continually tweaking their formula to provide varied and interesting results. For the short amount of time that the band has been together, this is a very impressive debut that points to an ever-improving band not one bit afraid to change it up until they find their perfect sweet spot. I have no doubt that I’ll be listening to their progression until that happens; by this first release, I can’t imagine it will take much time. Soulful and passionate, The Magic Lightnin’ Boys are here to resurrect the old blues/hard rock sound and make it their own.
Venue Information:
The Southgate House Revival-Revival Room
111 East 6th Street
Newport, KY, 41071
http://www.southgatehouse.com/