Part of the late-'60s blues-rock movement, Britain's Savoy Brown never achieved as much success in their homeland as they did in America, where they promoted their albums with nonstop touring. The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality has led to myriad personnel changes; the original lineup included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, guitarist Martin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. This lineup appeared on the band's 1967 debut, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers. Seeking a different approach, Simmonds dissolved the group and brought in guitarist Dave Peverett, bassist Rivers Jobe, drummer Roger Earl, and singer Chris Youlden, who gave them a distinctive frontman with his vocal abilities, bowler hat, and monocle. With perhaps its strongest lineup, Savoy Brown quickly made a name for itself, now recording originals like "Train to Nowhere" as well. However, Youlden left the band in 1970 following Raw Sienna, and shortly thereafter, Peverett, Earl, and new bassist Tony Stevens departed to form Foghat, continuing the pattern of consistent membership turnover. Simmonds collected yet another lineup and began a hectic tour of America, showcasing the group's now-refined bluesy boogie rock style, which dominated the rest of their albums. The group briefly broke up in 1973, but re-formed the following year. Throughout the '80s and '90s Simmonds remained undeterred by a revolving-door membership and continued to tour and record. Their first album for the Blind Pig label, Strange Dreams, was released in 2003. Steel followed in 2007 from Panache Records. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
Since 2001, the Claude von Trotha Band has combined the soulful voice and blistering guitar work of artist/arranger Claude von Trotha, with a fantastic group of SoCal's top-shelf touring and studio musicians. Their performances before sold-out crowds meld funk, blues, rock, jazz, and soul music - a 9 piece horn driven band whose muscular musicianship and creative restlessness delivers a high energy, truly unique, signature sound. The CvTB's rhythm section lays down a tight groove with a new century punch. The 4 piece horn section utilizes CvT's unique musical arrangements of both original and classic tunes that help define the band's signature sound. Add that to the warm, comedic, 'SoCal attitude' of front man Claude von Trotha and his Flying V guitars, and you have a dynamic musical entertainment package for all ages and musical likes. The Claude von Trotha Band has shared the stage with a diverse mixture of musical acts, including The Yardbirds, WAR, Michael Burks, Larry Carlton, Leon Russell, Sweet, Tower of Power, Blue Cheer, Jack Russell's Great White, Savoy Brown, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Coco Montoya, Tommy Castro, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Billy Vera and the Beaters, Johnny A., The Flying Burrito Bros, The Little River Band, Ambrosia, and - well, you get the picture, these cats hit hard, and the people are jumpin' ! The “CvTB” constantly moves forward, determined not to labor in the shadow of their predecessors. They are truly forging their own unique, fresh, ‘SoCal’ musical style, utilizing the instrumentation available to them in unique ways. The result of their effort has earned ‘The Claude Band’ numerous accolades, but more importantly, respect among critics and peers. Find a Claude von Trotha Band show, you’ll be taken in by not only the music, but the joy that the performers exude while they share their music with you.
“… The Claude von Trotha Band or (The CvTB as us hardcore's know them), he's got a 'thing' about him and the way he sings that drives the ladies crazy and makes you want to stand up and groove ….” American Blues News
“Claude is the ORIGINAL funkmeister!....” Elvin Bishop
“…the band is tight. Incredibly tight….” Jack Russell