US-based genre-defying trio Simo returns with their new and most musically diverse record to date – Rise & Shine.

Simo spent most of 2016 on the road, clocking up 215 shows for the year including dates with the likes of Beth Hart, Blackberry Smoke, and the late Gregg Allman. During this mammoth touring stretch, Simo increasingly started to look for a new challenge and to break free from the musical constraints of their previous record Let Love Show The Way. The band aimed to produce music which would revitalize themselves, whilst keeping things fresh and interesting for the three band members.

Whilst out on the road Simo took every opportunity they could to start to pull together the blueprint for their latest offering before returning to Nashville to record the album in February 2017.

Rise & Shine covers a vast musical landscape, with no two songs the same. From the funk explosion of “Meditation” and “Don’t Waste Time” through to more soulful, heartfelt ballads like “I Want Love”, with this album the band covers a lot of ground. Each track has its own unique imprint and is able to stand on its own.

The second half of the album seems to fall on the more familiar ground of their previous recordings with the inclusion of a couple of epic seven-minute blues-rock numbers in the shape of fuzz fuelled “Light The Candle” and “Be With You”. On the other hand, “The Light” has a much more old-school acoustic delta blues feel to it, which is reminiscent in places of Lead Belly’s “In The Pines”.

Rise & Shine culminates with the incredible “I Pray” – a thirteen-minute musical masterpiece. The track both starts and concludes with JD Simo praying for all of the things he wishes he could change about the world, with the mid-section of the number developing into a phenomenal instrumental trippy jam. Having seen Simo perform in concert, this song truly captures the spirit of the band’s live performances.

With this record Simo has really flexed their creative muscles. Throughout Rise & Shine you hear three incredible musicians at the top of their game each coming together seamlessly and consciously expressing their creativity. In this day and age of heavily manufactured music, it is both rare and refreshing to hear a band sounding so artistically free.

Rise & Shine by Simo is out now via Mascot Label Group/Provogue. The band will be returning to the UK on 26th September for a one-off show at The Borderline in London.

Simo
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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