Chicago bassist on how he approaches the bass lines to the band’s classic songs
Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
September 17, 2017
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!