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J.D. Simo Talks New Album 'Rise and Shine'

(Gibson) Creatively speaking, J.D. Simo is not one to sit still. On 2016's Let Love Show the Way, he and his trio - called, fittingly, SIMO - showcased their classic rock influences on a set of blues-stoked rockers recorded at the Allman Brothers' famous "Big House" in Macon, Georgia. For their new album, Rise & Shine, the trio embarked on a different path, widening their sound to include smoldering soul ballads, Stax-flavored funk, and psychedelic-tinged instrumentals - all without severing the blues-rock roots from which they've always drawn.

The trio, which in addition to Simo includes Elad Shapiro on bass and Adam Abrashoff on drums, spent more than a month crafting the album, which was recorded in the band's home base of Nashville. Working in the studio from mid-afternoon until the wee hours of the morning, they succeeded in producing their most eclectic set of songs to date.

"If you go through my record collection and look at the more contemporary titles," JD explains, "you'll see the Roots, Wilco, Alabama Shakes, and Ryan Adams. I listen to a lot of old soul music, too. Isaac Hayes. Funkadelic. Bob Dylan. On Rise & Shine, I was just trying to cull from the vastness that is my normal music diet, and not trying to pander to some target that was easy to hit."

Gibson spoke with Simo about the new record, his background as a session player, and the influences that brought him to where he is today. Read the interview here.


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