MRM recently interviewed Pat DeSalvo of the legendary blues rock group Savoy Brown. DeSalvo spoke about his origins, the late Kim Simmonds and new album titled “Blues All Around.” For more information, please check out savoybrown.com
MRM: Where are you “calling” from?
Pat DeSalvo: I am in Florida.
MRM: Who are your influences?
Pat: Tim Bogart, Duck Dunn, Geezer Butler, Willie Dixon and James Jamerson. The reason is later in life I looked back at what I was listening to.
MRM: What was your first concert as a spectator?
Pat: Grand Funk Railroad.
MRM: How did you start in the music business?
Pat: I started playing bars at 15. And found a place I was comfortable. I did go on to college… actually U of Buffalo was one. But wound up on the road at 21.
MRM: How did you end up joining Savoy Brown?
Pat: I had already recorded five records with Kim and was doing some acoustic shows with him. I would play upright bass and Garnet would play a small kit. Gerry the bass player that was with Kim got ill and Kim asked me to go on the road. We did a couple weeks on the west coast. We got off the plane and asked me to join the band due to Gerry’s condition. I talked to my family and to the company I was working at. And then well the rest is history.
MRM: Do you have any interesting stories from being out on the road with Savoy Brown?
Pat: We got lost some times…My favorite was when Kim was going on to the audience telling them how much he loved German food, the people, beer, even though he did not drink…etc, etc. I whispered in his ear we were in Belgium. At that point he went into the next song.
MRM: How was Kim Simmonds behind the scenes?
Pat: Very humble and an incredibly hard worker. I say worker because it was his job to create. He had an ability to write songs a gift. Garnet and I grew into having a very good relationship with Kim. The reason we stayed so long and recorded so long.
MRM: What was it like recording the latest album by Savoy Brown titled “Blues All Around”?
Pat: Difficult in the sense that we realized our lives would be changing. And the recording process was different in that we would always record as a band live. This time we played to demos Kim had written through the years and some current material before the chemo started to affect him.
MRM: Was there an eerie feeling that “Blues All Around” could be the last for Simmonds?
MRM: For the gearheads out there, what gear are you using these days?
Pat: I play Dean Zelinsky Private label Mule basses. I have a Harke LH1000 head and one Xl 15 and one Xl four by ten. No effects I play on my neck and on top off the pickups and on the bridge. Use a pick and my thumb for different tones. Normally on the road traveling I use whatever they have.
MRM: Do you know what the future holds for you and also Savoy Brown?
Pat: Garnet and I are playing with Quarto Valley label mate Sean Chambers. We did a tour and it worked out. We contacted Kim and would talk with him and he would give us advice.
MRM: Thanks for the interview. Anything else you would like to add?
Pat: I was incredibly lucky to play and make music with Kim and Garnet, the bond we developed will always be with me.