Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter, Chris Simmons…
“…an extraordinarily talented Alabama guitar man that will make you feel his emotion and heart in every single note.”
Twelve years after his birth in the small town of Boaz, Alabama, Chris begged his mother for his first guitar… after watching music videos on MTV.
He joined his first band at 15. At age 20, he loaded his musical gear and whatever else would fit in his van and he hit the road. For the next few years, Simmons roamed the southeast playing rock n roll and blues in bars and house parties.. anywhere they would listen. In 1997, he joined Atlanta southern rockers, “Cadillac Voodoo Choir”. While on tour in Texas with the Voodoo Choir, Chris fell in love with the musical mecca of Austin, Tx.
He made Austin his new home. There, Simmons founded his own band, “Ultrasonic”… he spent his 5 years in Texas playing legendary venues such as “The Steamboat”, “Antone’s”, “The Curtain Club”, “Trees” and the “Saxon Pub.”
Chris left Texas for the west coast.. but after a short time in Los Angeles, his heart steered him back toward his southern home. Shortly after he returned, he auditioned for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the Legendary Leon Russell. He was selected for the position and spent the next five years(2007-2012)touring the world as guitarist with Leon Russell.
He now lives just south of Huntsville, AL in the rural Lacey Springs community when he’s not traveling with his band, “Royal Blue”.
His interest in guitar was initially sparked by ANGUS YOUNG, guitarist of AC/DC. His longing for more knowledge of the Blues and the roots of Rock n Roll, led him on to, CHUCK BERRY, ERIC CLAPTON with Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominoes and DUANE ALLMAN and the Allman Brothers Band. It was these guitar legends that further led him to study the older blues pioneers like, ROBERT JOHNSON, MUDDY WATERS, FREDDIE, ALBERT AND BB KING. “Johnson is at the top for acoustic blues, Waters for the real electrified blues, the 3 Kings when it comes to the blues solo guitar.”
Among his favorite singers.. OTIS REDDING, PAUL RODGERS, FREDDIE KING, BB KING and MUDDY WATERS.
“Leon Russell has been a huge influence, as an entertainer, song writer, singer, world traveler… I learned so much. I am blessed to have been a part of His band”
Chris has been playing music and traveling and performing professionally for about half of his life that he’s spent on this earth. Over those years, and especially the last 5 years on stage with Leon, he’s criss-crossed the globe, making music and making friends and fans at every stop.
See him now, out there with his band, sharing his days and nights and his music with the world. It’s an energetic Rock n Roll and Blues affair, seasoned with raw Southern Soul.
Chris Simmons and Royal Blue is a three-piece core group, joined by an additional complement of female soulful back-up singers, additional guitarist, piano and organ.
“We have fun. We take the music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously … we have fun with it, and we have fun with the audience.” said Simmons.
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