Originally Published: September 21, 2001 6 p.m.
The J.D. Simo Band appears at 9 tonight and Saturday at Club Row, above Matt's Saloon on Whiskey Row.
Simo's sound and style, although all his own, has the soul of Hendrix and the intensity of Stevie Ray.
Though only 16 years old, Simo has been touted "the Valley's new favorite" and "the next Eric Clapton."
Simo is backed by Thomas "Freight Train" Walker on drums and "T-Bone" Caradonna on Bass.
Simo was born on the near North side of Chicago, among the heart of the blues clubs. By the age of 3, he knew he wanted to be a performer.
He started as Elwood Blues in his basement, doing shows for family and friends. At 5, Simo began the first of more than 600 guitar lessons. At 7, he was doing Park District and charity shows for audiences. By 9, he was being paid to perform for private parties, and social engagements.
At 10 years of age, the Simo family moved to Phoenix and he shifted into high gear. Now writing his own songs, Simo was tutored in music theory and composition by an ASU professor. He appeared once a week at Jam Nights, in Phoenix area clubs.
Now, at 16, his band of accomplished studio musicians has been together for 18 months.