Nashville-based guitarist, singer and songwriter JD Simo has today released a new single entitled ‘Afro Blue’, the second to be lifted from his forthcoming album ‘Songs From The House Of Grease’. Ostensibly an interpretation of John Coltrane’s arrangement of the minor key jazz standard by Mongo Santamaria, the sultry and slinky instrumental contrasts with its immediate predecessor, which was an incendiary cover of the classic ‘Mortgage On My Soul’ by hill country blues pioneer Mississippi Fred McDowell.
“‘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.”
Recorded with his trio, which includes longtime collaborator Adam Abrashoff (drums) and Todd Bolden (bass), ‘Songs From The House Of Grease’ is set for release on 13th January 2023, with pre-orders/saves available HERE .
JD adds 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 hadn’t planned on releasing something so fast but couldn’t be prouder of this snapshot in time. It’s honestly my best playing ever captured!”
Containing five songs with a total running time of 40 minutes, the album also includes a cover of Blind Alfred Reed’s ‘How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live’, 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’.
JD’s love and respect for the roots of blues and rock ‘n roll led him to be chosen to record all the guitar parts for the recent blockbuster biopic ‘Elvis’. He is featured on a dozen songs from the soundtrack album, which is nominated in the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category at the 2023 Grammys, while it is his guitar playing that can be heard on ‘Vegas’ by Doja Cat, which has over 275 million streams on Spotify and is nominated for Best Rap Performance.
“I’m such a fan of Elvis’ music, but also the music of that period and the other stuff we recorded for the film,” states JD. “Being part of the ‘Elvis’ movie is the gift that keeps on giving. Truly the honour of my life to have been part of it. May the Grammy’s treat us well!”
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.
rom the album
SONGS FROM THE HOUSE OF GREASE
[Crows Feet Records]