Nashville-Based Guitarist & Singer-Songwriter JD Simo To Release New Album
Nashville-based guitarist, singer and songwriter JD Simo will release his new album, ‘Songs From The House Of Grease’, on 13th January 2023. Recorded with his trio (completed by drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Todd Bolden), JD has previously stated that "this album is a live snapshot of me and the fellas playing some favourite tracks that hadn't been captured yet on record. I couldn't be prouder of this, as it honestly captures my best playing ever!”
Containing five songs with a total running time of 40 minutes, it includes covers of John Coltrane's 'Afro Blue', Blind Alfred Reed's 'How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live' and Mississippi Fred McDowell's 'Mortgage on My Soul’, plus a free jazz take on Simo’s own 'Higher Plane' (from his self-titled 2020 solo record) and a brand new Meters inspired cut entitled ‘Missy’s Strut’.
‘Mortgage On My Soul’ was released as the first single from the record in September. Discussing his incendiary version of the classic hill country blues song, JD explains: “I just really dug the words and I also love the hypnotic vibe of his style. Over the course of a few months we started doing it during soundchecks and Adam came up with this killer Afrobeat style groove. It’s also a really good showcase for my slide playing and is such a blast to play.”
Its follow-up was the very different ‘Afro Blue’, which was ostensibly an interpretation of John Coltrane’s arrangement of the minor key jazz standard by Mongo Santamaria. “‘Afro Blue’ is a cornerstone tune in the language of music,” says JD. "We just played it off hand during the sessions and ended up capturing a lovely moment. It's hard to approach such hallowed material but I'm proud of it and really enjoy playing it.”
JD’s love and respect for the roots of blues and rock ’n roll led him to be chosen by music supervisor David Cobb to record all the guitar parts for the recent blockbuster biopic ‘Elvis’. In an interview with Guitar World magazine about his role in creating its soundtrack, JD said, "I’m such a fan of Elvis’ music, but also the music of that period and the other stuff we recorded for the film. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, Muddy Waters, B.B. King – all of that is a big part of my musical DNA.”
Splitting his band SIMO in 2017 and going solo, JD issued a well received 2019 solo debut, ‘Off At 11’, followed by a self-titled 2020 effort that connected the missing link between Woodstock and Motown. His current studio album, ‘Mind Control’, was released in late 2021 and also earned plaudits on both sides of the pond.
Collaborations with the likes of Jack White, Tommy Emmanuel, Luther Dickinson, Dave Cobb and Blackberry Smoke, as well as time spent as part of Grateful Dead founder Phil Lesh’s ‘Phil & Friends’, have cemented his reputation among guitar music aficionados.