Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Southern Brotherhood (2012)

Royal Southern Brotherhood    
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Ruf Records RUF1180

Cool Blues with a White-hot streak of Southern Soul

Sometimes you really can ‘judge a book by the cover;’ as even the cover of the debut album from the ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD oozes class.

As usual I didn’t read the Press Release before playing the CD but was only half way through opening track New Horizonswhen I thought that the singer sounded just like one of the Neville Brothers and, sure enough the band are led by the legendary Cyril Neville and also features Gregg Allman’s son Devon alongside a host of Southern Blues players who are having the time of their lives.

Is there anything new here? Hell no! Nor should there be; because the Royal Southern Brotherhood takes a well worn and sometimes tired formula and not only breathe new life into it but; give it a blood transfusion.
Left My Heart in Memphis is a slow and funky Blues tune that has Cyril competing with a slide guitar for prominence over a Muscle Shoals rhythm section – what’s not to like?

Fire on the Mountain has a Cajun-Jazz feel to it and makes you feel like you should be sitting on a veranda drinking Mint Juleps and swatting flies.

All the way through the album Cyril Neville sounds like he’s trying to stifle a huge grin as he leads the band on a trip through the Deep South and back out the other side like a true Master.

Gotta Keep Rockin’ is the contractually obliged Rocker but Cyril still keeps a tight hold on the guitarist’s reigns; although I guess this is the one that ends the live show.

Perhaps a stronger title could have been found for Sweet Jelly Donut but the tale of unrequited love is simply exquisite.

As with all great albums the very best is kept for last; as the instrumental Brotherhood has echoes of the Allman Brothers in all their pomp but still carries the RSB stamp and rightly so.

If you liked the Allman Brothers and/or the Neville Brothers you are simply going to love this album from the Royal Southern Brotherhood.

www.royalsouthernbrotherhood.com

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