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Simo

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Biography

Delivering powerful blues rock with a psychedelic sheen and a strong thread of improvisational imagination, Simo is a power trio from Nashville, Tennessee led by guitarist J.D. Simo. J.D. grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and developed a taste for the blues as a kid, listening to a Chess Records collection his sister often played. J.D. started playing guitar when he was five, and once talked his mom into taking him to see the abandoned Chess Records building on South Michigan Avenue. By the time he was 18, J.D.'s family was living in Arizona, and he was headlining clubs and playing festivals with his backing combo Dirty Pool; they issued an EP, Burnin' Live, which sold an impressive 5,000 copies as an independent release. After walking away from high school, J.D. and his band hit the road and released a studio album, One Night Stand, in 2002. After two more albums, 2004's The Other Side of Me and 2005's J.D. Simo Live, the guitarist parted ways with Dirty Pool and relocated to Nashville in 2006. J.D. made a name for himself in Music City after he joined a popular local group, the Don Kelley Band, and soon he was dividing his time between live gigs and session work, gaining a reputation as one of the city's best guitarists. In 2010, J.D. decided to break out on his own, and he formed a new band with two seasoned musicians, bassist Frank Swart and drummer Adam Abrashoff. The new combo was dubbed Simo, and their self-titled debut album arrived in 2011. Simo hit the road hard in support, and well-respected reissue label Sundazed Records made the rare choice of releasing a new recording by putting out a Simo single, "Shake It" b/w "AoH," later the same year. In 2015, the trio released a live EP, Love, Vol. One, recorded during a show at Nashville's Mercy Lounge; that same year, Swart left Simo and Elad Shapiro became the group's new drummer. By this time, word had spread about the band's incendiary live show, and the group was playing festivals like Bonnaroo and Mountain Jam as well as sharing bills with Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Blackberry Smoke, Deep Purple, and many others. In 2015, Simo scored a deal with Provogue Records, and they released their first album for the label, Let Love Show the Way, in 2016. ~ Mark Deming

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