event

WMOT Roots Radio Roadtrippin Series
JD Simo with Alex Kilroy
Fri September 27, 2019 8:00 pm (Doors: 6:00 pm )
3rd and Lindsley
All Ages
$12.00
Acid rock, traditional blues, folk, soul, free form jazz, and the never ceasing desire to improvise form this mind bending kaleidoscope of sound, energy and vibe. NPR said “This Nashville blues trio sounds as if it comes to us straight from 1968.” And Rolling Stone lauded, “J.D. Simo spins soulful psychedelic blues rock with an improvisational bent reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and Stevie Ray Vaughan”. With his band, 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, Mountain Jam and JD recently joined Phil Lesh & Friends for a night dubbed “Dead Blues” at Terrapin Station. Current album on Sony/Red/Orchard was released on March 1, 2019.

JD 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. JD Simo's style of blues reminds us of that Chevy V-8. He's a classic car, hard-charging, built for speed. But like a good mechanic, he knows what's under the hood. He's learned the intricacies, the subtleties, the nuance, of the car. The same way he's learned the blues.

On Off At 11, you can almost touch the ghosts of the brilliant, wounded masters of the blues who have shaped and guided his art and craft. "The blues, it's grown folks music," Simo says from his home in Nashville. "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." 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." Born and raised on Chicago's South Side, Simo grew up in the Lincoln Heights section over a bar that his father owned called The Store. "I started playing when I was 4 or 5. I was playing in bars like Blues on Halstead and Kingston Mines. I was making money by the time I was in the seventh and eighth grades." The family relocated to Phoenix, which was fortuitous, he says, because the liquor laws were more lenient "and I could start to make money in the clubs." He left home at age 15. "I was a terrible student," he relates, "but I'd done my musical homework, that's for sure."