Royal Southern Brotherhood look set to become the latest sensation out of Ruf Records with the recent release of their self-titled debut CD 'Royal Southern Brotherhood'. Produced by legendary record producer Jim Gaines at Dockside Studio near Lafayette, Louisiana, this newly formed southern 'supergroup' consists of Cyril Neville (percussion & vocals), Devon Allman (guitar & vocals), Mike Zito (guitar & vocals), Charlie Wooton (bass) & Yonrico Scott (drums).
Royal Southern Brotherhood brings together the Allman/Neville dynasties with blues award winner Mike Zito and are billed as the 'Soul of the South' playing amplified soul for the new generation. Right from the outset they are headed for the 'New Horizon' on a driving drumbeat fuelled with incendiary guitar duels and soulful vocals, before a sea of percussion introduces the Santana influenced 'Fired Up!' that really does get the party into full swing. Next come two songs inspired by the great Mississippi river itself, Devon Allman's melancholy 'Left My Heart In Memphis' and the funky Zito/Neville ballad 'Moonlight Over The Mississippi'. All the tracks here are originals except for an interesting reggae remake of The Grateful Dead's 'Fire On The Mountain' which precedes another Zito/Neville song 'Ways About You' that builds throughout hitting all the right notes. 'Gotta Keep Rockin'' witnesses the band back in full flow with Allman unleashed on lead vocals and guitar followed by some more great singing on his 'Nowhere To Hide'. Echoes of another great southern band Lynyrd Skynyrd can be heard on 'Hurts My Heart', a Mike Zito song about the rich/poor divide prior to Cyril Neville singing about his beloved New Orleans on the sassy 'Sweet Jelly Donut'. Another Zito composition 'All Around The World' again hits all the right notes prior to the spiritual instrumental 'Brotherhood', aptly penned by all the band that closes the set.
Royal Southern Brotherhood feature devastating dual guitars and a tight pulsating rhythm section that forge infectious tunes with soulful vocals that defy any listener not to be moved, because if these songs can't get you doing the 'Dixie Chicken'... then you know your goose is well and truly cooked! As Cyril Neville says... bringing all these talented artists together make one serious gumbo and a listen to 'Royal Southern Brotherhood' will certainly make you hungry for more!