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NY Times World Premieres Royal Southern Brotherhood’s ‘heartsoulblood’; Super-Group Features Devon Allman, Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooton, Yonrico Scott
The NY Times World Premieres Blues Rock Collective Royal Southern Brotherhood’s Rollicking ‘heartsoulblood’; Super-Group Features Devon Allman, Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooton and Yonrico Scott
International Blues Label Ruf Records Sets June 10th U.S. Release; World Tour is Confirmed
Blues rock collective Royal Southern Brotherhood has confirmed the June 10th release of their rollicking new album ‘heartsoulblood’ (Ruf Records). Featuring the talents of Devon Allman, Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooton and Yonrico Scott, RSB showcases the road-tested power of five renowned musicians who, when joined together, elevate each other to higher ground.
The New York Times Exclusively World Premiered the full album via their popular Press Play column: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/arts/music/pressplay.html?_r=0
Watch Ruf’s Behind-the-Scenes EPK, here:
Relix Magazine presented Devon Allman, Cyril Neville and Mike Zito in a live acoustic performance of the focus track ‘World Blues’:
The music on ‘heartsoulblood’ is memorable, confident, diverse and steeped in the sweat, soul and grit of the bayous. Recorded at Dockside Studios in Louisiana and Produced by Jim Gaines (Steve Miller, Stevie Ray Vaughan,) and co-produced, engineered and mixed by David Z (Prince, Fine Young Cannibals, Etta James,) the album transports listeners to a place where authentic Southern blues takes flight. One can almost sense the mosquitos and crocodiles lurking outside the studio…
Read respected critic/author John Sinclair’s liner notes for ‘heartsoulblood’
The Royal Southern Brotherhood is what we used to call a super-group: an alliance of well-established musicians banded together to pursue a particular musical course—and perhaps even move a step or two higher on the career ladder as a result.
Devon Allman is the son of Gregg Allman and heir to the guitar artistry of his late uncle Duane. Cyril Neville is the fourth—after Arthur, Charles and Aaron—of the legendary Neville Brothers of New Orleans, the city’s foremost musical dynasty.
Mike Zito has earned his royal status as a top blues-rock guitarist by virtue of his powerful playing. And bassist Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott, young veterans of the music, make a formidable rhythm team to back the vocals and guitars of the musically ferocious front line.
The music these men make together draws on their richly various experience—funk, blues, hard rock, reggae—as individual artists, but it’s blended into a single tightly focused form of timeless Southern expression known as blues-rock, and they play the living hell out of it.
Here Cyril Neville points out that “rock & roll is the child of rhythm & blues,” citing the New Orleans origins of the idiom in the recording sessions at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios on North Rampart Street in the mid-1950s that produced the incendiary Specialty singles of Little Richard.
But blues rock is in turn the child of rock & roll, born and bred in the nasty bars and roadhouses of the South and transplanted into the imaginations of a bunch of teen-age blues lovers in Great Britain who took their version to the top of the international pop music charts.
So blues rock is a form of popular music that’s now 50 years old with a well-defined esthetic and an almost formulaic approach to its materials, and just when you think you’ve heard it all, a group of exceptionally adept musicians comes together to reinvigorate the blues-rock idiom with their emotionally informed, guitar-driven, melodically imaginative original compositions that touch all the blues-rock bases and propel the music right up the middle.
Royal Southern Brotherhood is a friendly, well-balanced collective with each singer enjoying a fair share of the lead vocals and the guitarists fronting and backing up each other with equal power and sensitivity. The whole band shares the song-writing duties as well, with Cyril Neville displaying unusual strength as a blues-rock composer.
The Brotherhood emerged in New Orleans as a muscular performing unit
and toured world wide before entering the studio with producer Jim Gaines for the band's second release to fully define their sound and approach with heartsoulblood. Their fans will be clamoring to get their hands on a copy forthwith, and there’s a big audience out there that will be very happy to hear this music as soon as they get a chance.
There’s nothing missing here—the Royal Southern Brotherhood has got it all: heart, blood and soul in glorious abundance. May they live long and prosper! By John Sinclair - Detroit - April 1, 2014
Read the Ruf Records ‘One-Sheet’ for RSB:
The Brotherhood are back. Some might say they’ve never been away. Two years have passed since 2012’s self-titled debut album, but the genre-splicing all-star Southerners have barely paused for breath.
There’s been the roof-raising world tour, taking in twenty-plus countries. There’s been the classic Songs From The Road live album. Cyril Neville, Devon Allman and Mike Zito have all found time for critically-acclaimed solo releases, while Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton have lent their talents to the hottest artists around.
But heartsoulblood is the big one. The main event. The one the band describes as “the record they really wanted to make”. Released 2014 on Ruf Records, this much-anticipated second studio album is set to rubber-stamp Royal Southern Brotherhood’s reputation as the boldest creative force in the game, and give an adrenalin-shot to the band’s setlist as they scorch the tarmac this summer. “When we went into the studio on the first record, we were a bunch of musicians making a record in the studio,” says Devon Allman, “On heartsoulblood, we are a BAND.”
heartsoulblood. The album title says it all. In a rock industry increasingly driven by sales charts and demographics, this second album is the sound of five world-class musicians following their guts and playing tug-of-war with their eclectic influences, whether that’s funk, soul, old-blues or hard-rock. This is an album made to soundtrack people’s lives.
If it ain’t broke, as they say, don’t fix it, and for heartsoulblood, the Brothers returned to the stamping-ground where it all started. Situated on the banks of the croc-infested Vermilion Bayou, Louisiana, Dockside Studios is no slick urban recording space in the style of Abbey Road or LA’s Record Plant. Despite that – or because of it – this facility has a magic in the air that has coaxed classic albums from artists including B.B. King and Derek Trucks, and also provided the backdrop to 2012’s self-titled Royal Southern Brotherhood album.
And so, reuniting with Jim Gaines – the super-producer who helmed the debut album sessions – and hot-shot engineer David Z, the band returned to Dockside in December 2013 to bottle the sequel. Not only was the spark between the five members still firing, but after two years spent bonding on the road, the interplay on these tracks is tighter and more telepathic than ever.
On dueling guitars, Devon and Mike weave stories, butt heads and raise hell, atop the thrilling rhythm bedrock of Charlie’s bass and Yonrico’s driving beats. As we’ve come to expect, the vocals tend to be a three-way split between Devon, Mike and Cyril, with the latter also supplying the percussive grooves that defy you not to move.
Some folks still call Royal Southern Brotherhood a supergroup, and perhaps that tag is inevitable, given Devon and Cyril’s backstory with the legendary Allman and Neville Brothers (not to mention Mike, Yonrico and Charlie’s solid-gold résumés). But if heartsoulblood proves anything, it’s that RSB is not five individuals jostling for supremacy, but a band in the truest sense of the word, united by their desire to give these songs wings.
Mission accomplished. While lesser artists labor over the so-called difficult second album, heartsoulblood makes it look easy, with a tracklisting that feels both hugely ambitious and wholly effortless. As you would hope from a band with no rulebook, this is an album with no limits. There are plenty of raucous moments to satisfy the rock kids hanging off the security barrier, from the uppercut slide-riff of “World Blues” and the stinging intro of “Love And Peace”, to the menacing wah lines of “Callous”.
But these harder moments are always counterbalanced with light and shade. Take the glassy funk of “Groove On”, for instance, with its quicksilver percussive guitar lick. Try the lilting soul-slowie “Shoulda Known”, and the haunted storytelling of the album’s most poignant song, “Takes A Village”. Just as memorable is “Rock ‘N’ Roll”, which spins the story of how the planet’s most popular artform was born in the US South (“Little Richard said he wasn’t quittin’ til he found him a brand-new sound…”).
Likewise, in 2014, you could say much the same about Royal Southern Brotherhood. Respectful of the music’s past, but twisting it into new shapes as they stride boldly into the future, this is one band adding to the story of rock ‘n’ roll – and heartsoulblood is the latest thrilling chapter.
RSB North American Tour Dates:
6/12/14 Frisco CO Barkley Ballroom USA
6/13/14 Colorado Springs CO Stargazers Theatre USA
6/14/14 Greeley CO Greeley Blues Jam USA
6/15/14 Snowmass CO Snowmass Mammoth Festival USA
7/11-12/14 Vancouver BC Vancouver Island Music Fest CANADA
7/14/14 Helena MT Myrna Loy Center USA
7/16/14 Boise ID Alive After Five Concert Series USA
7/18/14 Alta WY Grand Targhee Festival USA
7/19/14 Winthrop WA Winthrop R & B Festival USA
8/9/14 Truro Nova Scotia CAN Dutch Mason Blues Fest CANADA
8/10/14 Kitchener ONT Kitchener Blues Fest CANADA
8/14/14 Sioux City IA Hard Rock Casino USA
8/15/14 Minneapolis MN The Cabooze USA
8/16/14 Wausau WI Big Bull Falls Blues Festival USA
8/17/14 Panama City FL Great American Blues Fest USA
8/23/14 Prince Frederick MD Southern MD Blues Fest USA
8/25/14 Atlantic City, NJ Mardi Gras At The Jersey Shore Concert Series Kennedy Plaza 8/29/14 Woodland TX Doesy Doe USA
8/30/14 Bedford TX City of Bedford Labor Day Blues and BBQ Fest USA
10/4-10/14 Los Angeles CA Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise USA
See the band’s World Tour schedule, here: http://www.royalsouthernbrotherhood.com/tour-dates/