Elmore James’ Stranger Blues opens this second album by Nashville trio Simo with a blast of Creedence-style rock’n’roll, the Latino rhythm laid down by drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro underpinning JD Simo’s earthy voice and squealing guitar.
It signals their late 60s influences which, as the album progresses, encompass edgier, psychedelic blues terrain that’s reflective of the trippy cover art.
Amid wailing slide, the odd sledgehammer riff and some upbeat melodies, highlights include I Lied and the anthemic Long May You Sail. The former is a potent brew of effects-heavy guitar licks switching speakers over twitching rhythms. The latter dishes up a bagpipe-like guitar theme and a tornado of a solo from Simo, overlaying Mitch Mitchellesque drumming. For good measure, they spread out on I’d Rather Die In Vain with some extended, dynamic jamming. File under ‘summer of love revisited’.