The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality led to a myriad of personnel changes. The original line-up included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, fellow guitarist Martin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. Portius was one of the first black blues musicians to be a part of a British rock band. This line-up appeared on the band’s 1967 debut album, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers.
Their 1969 single « Train to Nowhere » (with singer Chris Youlden), was viewed by many as the last gasp of the blues scene in the United Kingdom. They developed a loyal core following in the United States, due to songs such as « I’m Tired », a driving, melodic song from their album, A Step Further. They were one of the bands that UK Decca (US London/Parrot) stuck with through the lean times until they started selling records (it took four or five albums until they started to sell in the U.S.) In the late 1960s and 1970s, the band managed to penetrate the Billboard Hot 100. Superstardom perpetually evaded them, perhaps in part because of their frequent line-up changes, but despite that, Hellbound Train (1972) was a Top 40 album for them in the U.S.
While the band is still active today, touring the world and recording regulary, only Simmonds has stayed since the beginning. Guitarist « Lonesome » Dave Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl went on to form Foghat. Original member and harmonica player, John O’Leary, is still active on the British blues circuit with The John O’Leary Band. Another singer, Dave Walker, would later join Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath. Their bassists included Andy Pyle, who played with Mick Abrahams from Jethro Tull in Blodwyn Pig, later with The Kinks and Gary Moore, and Andy Sylvester, also with Chicken Shack. Savoy Brown also provided an outlet for the keyboardist and guitarist, Paul Raymond, who later went on to join UFO.
Savoy Brown contributed the song « A Man Alone » for the soundtrack to the movie, Kickboxer 2.
In 2008 « Train to Nowhere » was used in, and figured as a clue, in the TV series, CSI: NY, in Season 4, Episode 10 - “The Thing About Heroes”.
Their first album for the Blind Pig record label, Strange Dreams, was released in 2003. The band released their most recent record Steel in 2007.
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