Revered guitarist/vocalist, JD SIMO, announces “You Need Love” from his upcoming, first solo record, OFF AT 11, due out March 1, 2019. The Chicago-born, Nashville-based recording artist channels classic sounds from Acid rock, traditional blues, folk, soul, to free form jazz, reinvigorating them into a kaleidoscope of sound for a new generation of music lovers. NPR declares, “SIMO sounds as if it comes to us straight from 1968.”
The songwriter is backed by drummer Adam Abrashoff (drums) and bassist Andraleia Buch. Debuting at number 4 on the Billboard Blues chart in January 2016, SIMO has been noticed by No Depression, Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, Relix, Guitar World and NPR, among others. The band was featured on NPR's World Cafe which was broadcast nationally after the initial broadcast in late January on Philadelphia's WXPN. The band started its first full national tour in January 2016 bringing them to over 37 states and playing over 80 shows.
With his band, SIMO, JD and cohorts have gained a solid fan following from touring and opening for bands such as Blackberry Smoke, The Gregg Allman band, Warren Haynes, Tommy Emmanuel and others. They have played Bonnaroo, Warren Hayne’s Christmas Jam and Mountain Jam since the formation of the band in 2010.
The solo endeavor’s lead single, “You Need Love,” offers a taste of SIMO’s influences, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Captain Beefheart, Miles Davis and the Allman Brothers to blues guitarists such as Lightnin’ Hopkins and BB King. SIMO explains, “There’s an underlying theme of LOVE that permeates the album. Both outward love but also inner and self-love. These days, everything is so heavy, but I just want to point out some joy, love and deep passion; in this world, we all share that spirit. OFF AT 11 does that.”
On OFF AT 11, one can almost touch the ghosts of the brilliant, wounded masters of the blues who have shaped and guided his art and craft. SIMO's brand of blues is like the surge of sound from a classic car, say a Chevy V-8. It starts with a roar, then a rumble. Then a low, throaty hum. The explosion of the gas in the cylinders are like emotional triggers - liberating, visceral. Intense.
SIMO has channeled life experience into a conversation about life experience. "There isn't a single way to express the blues, thank God," he chuckles. "You can be joyful or plaintive, all in the same song. And there are always two sides of me when I play, because I'm eternally obsessed with both. There's my love for obscure black music from the Forties and Fifties, and how I choose to relate to them. There's also my trippy, psychedelic side, the possibilities that the Dead and the Allmans present. Or where John McLaughlin points me on Bitches Brew." He elaborates, "The blues, it's grown folk’s music. "The blues is not for kids. Blues to me, it’s an art form. It's not supposed to be flashy. And that fools a lot of people."
The recording of this rocking, blues driven, electric tour de force, was recorded over a three-day period in the summer of 2018; “Our next summer of love,” says SIMO. Recording during a brief break in touring including SIMO’s first shows as a newly cultivated member of Phil Lesh and Friends, he and his band recorded these musically dense and inspiring tracks in a “groovy space” to lay down something authentic, filled with fun and no edits, no tricks. “Just honesty and a tape machine” he continues.
Produced by SIMO in association with his co-manager Michael Caplan, and due to be released this year, OFF AT 11 consists of 8 tracks that are laid out on the record like a musical journey through gifted guitar playing and singing, incredible rhythm section arrangements and lyrics that convey that “all the feels” momentum.
SIMO will be embarking on a US tour in early 2019 before European dates throughout the Spring.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
JAN 23 @Daryl's House Club
JAN 24 @Rockwood Music Hall
New York, NY
JAN 25 @The Lost Horizon
JAN 27 @The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub
JAN 29 @City Winery DC
JAN 30 @Sellersville Theater
JAN 31 @Hard Rock Cafe
FEB 1 @Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
FEB 2 @Callahan's Music Hall
Auburn Hills, MI
FEB 6 @High Noon Saloon
FEB 7 @Vaudeville Mews
Des Moines, IA
FEB 8 @Martyrs'
FEB 16 @Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria