Brett Simons

Brett SimonsBrett Simons

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
September 17, 2017

Chicago bassist on how he approaches the basslines to the band’s classic songs

By David Sands

Currently a member of Chicago, Brett Simons is a bassist with many musical faces. Rock. Reggae. Latin Jazz. Bluegrass. You name it. A graduate of the University of Miami, he kicked his career off with a bang early on working with Uruguayan harpist Roberto Perera on the albums Passion, Illusions and Fantasies and Dreams and Desires, the latter of which won Billboard’s Contemporary Latin/Jazz Album of the Year in 1993. After that, he joined and toured Europe with the Slavek Hanzlik Trio, a Chicago-based bluegrass ensemble. During that time, he also regularly played jazz at the Green Mill, a renowned Windy City jazz venue. While in Chicago, he also toured and recorded with the Mighty Blue Kings, established himself himself as a sought-after local Irish music bassist and worked with country artist Robbie Fulks and Lila McCann. Since relocating to Los Angeles, he’s been a member of a trio with keyboardist Deron Johnson and drummer Oscar Seaton; collaborated with singer-songwriters Gary Jules and Alexi Murdoch; and worked with Liz Phair, Anastacia, Fiona Apple and Pat Monahan of Train. He’s also had long-running working relationships with Melissa Etheridge and Brian Wilson–and played an essential role in the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary and Grammy Awards performances.

During a recent Chicago-REO Speedwagon concert, FBPO’s Jon Liebman spoke with Simons about his multi-faceted career, how he came to the bass, gear and and stepping into Peter Cetera’s former role. 

Watch our interview with Brett!

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