While the press release promotes this CD as a departure for Kim Simmonds, to this writer it would seem one more facet of this veteran guitarist’s musical personality. On Blues Like Midnight, Simmonds explores the acoustic side of the hue, drawing on influences from Gary Davis to JJ Cale.
For the most part unaccompanied, using backing instrumentation sparingly at most, this blues legend is still taking musical risks after 35-plus years in the biz. It’s always a challenge to attempt advancing the genre artistically yet keeping the parameters of tradition in tact.
The musical risk in this instance (if it is one for a player of this caliber) would be stepping out in front of the band with just an acoustic guitar and the one instrument we all possess; Simmond’s voice maintains just enough emotional edge to be convincing without sounding contrived or constrained. His open tuning and slide work is impeccable.
Had Simmons not started his career with Lonesome Dave and the rest of the Blue Matter cast, he would by this time no doubt be held in the same light as Kelly Jo Phelps and perhaps a subdued Leo Kottke.
Accoustic blues in the timeless tradition, by an endearing and ageless interpreter. Available from email@example.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.