Royal Southern Brotherhood presents
The Royal Gospel
Royal Southern Brotherhood are back with their signature mix of funky roots driven by a percussive platform overlaid with vocals that tell a compelling and lyrical story. RSB excel in that special hot and spicy funky southern soul and blues that hit your musical radar with a tasty thump. Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel their fourth studio album. The Gospel hasn’t changed, despite the change in band members with only Cyril Neville & Yonrico Scott of the Royals remaining from their great Heart Soul Blood album.
The reason is the music chemistry is still strong reproducing a swampy, tasty and rich cocktail of The Royal Gospel. Joining Cyril, Yonrico and guitarists Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan for this album is Darrell Phillips on bass and guest Norman Caser with his B3 Hammond adding chords of depth and textural contrast. “As far as the men making the music and playing the songs,” says Neville, “the mission of the band has never changed.” It is the collaboration the essence of a brotherhood that makes the sound deep and strong so it is unsurprising that the songwriting is a partnership between band members, yes Cyril as ever is the beating pulse within many of the tracks. The connection between Cyril and Bart is strong and songwriting collaboration happens despite the distance of 800 miles between their respective homes in New Orleans and Nashville. There is a telepathic link between them Cyril says “I kinda laughed, because Bart was getting ahead of what I was thinking” technology is the new way with phone conversation and the exchange of ideas. The lyrical gumbo created is very, very tasty on The Royal Gospel.
The shimmering guitar and percussive power laid down with the opening of Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire. Their guitars are hot, smoking with raw energy and an impatience to get the album on the road, pouring out of your speakers. Then joining in the fun is Cyril whose vocals are distinctive and harmonising with the deep percussive beat laid down by Yonrico. Royal Southern Brotherhood still full of strong soulful, blues southern comforting music. The lyrics develop from this common or garden saying that we all use. The lyrics co-written by Neville and Vaughan pull on the underlying meaning and shape the soul of the melody. This writing partnership pops up on the penultimate track, with Can’t Waste Time. The hooks are spiky as we meet a “Girl, you’re like a ship without a rudder” as we hear all about her behavior as a two-faced lover.
A collaborative album, the grooves are deep and the brotherhood-wide and held in the deep understanding of each other. Royal Southern Brotherhood, definitely not a rudderless collective. They are a band of brothers, a band of musicians who pick up the vibe and the rhythms flow and gather energy as the lyrics unfold. The beat powers through Blood Is Thicker Than Water where Cyril’s vocals are pure and full of emotion that proves the strength of family. The blues vibe is strong on Everybody Pays Some Dues, with Bart and Tyrone playing off each other, once again the lyrical story holds your attention as the moral of the story everybody pays some dues, restated by backing singers so we know what the song is all about. There is no escaping, but no one wants to escape from the guitar breaks the licks curl around and paying your dues is a light price to pay!
RSB as ever change the tempo and the soulful, gentler Face Of Love half way through gives a gentle repose as the instruments interplay and weave through the trellis of the vocals. Sit back and let the song cascade over you music as the deep bass and crack of drum beat adds a deeper groove to the guitar which has a bluesey feel with a touch of Spanish flamenco – wow compelling listening. Then upping the tempo for the ride with the brotherhood home with funky keys and the trademark percussion we visit the Land Of Broken Hearts. Spirit Man is a classic RSB take on the blues, rocky, swirling and deep with blue emotions and clever shading of tone and texture. The album closes with a happy clapping along foot tapping melody as we Stand Up and praise in true gospel fashion the joyous power of RSB. Yes, we Stand Up and salute you. The Royal Gospel spreads the word. Power and glory of roots music full of southern heat and swampy spice.
Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Gospel – Ruf Records
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
- I’ve Seen Enough To Know
- Blood Is Thicker Than Water
- I Wonder Why
- I’m Comin’ Home
- Everybody Pays Some Dues
- Face Of Love
- Land of Broken Hearts
- Spirit Man
- Hooked on Plastic
- Can’t Waste Time
- Stand Up
Royal Southernbrotherhood are:-
Cyril Neville: percussion vocals
Bart Walker: electric & acoustic guitars vocals
Tyrone Vaughn: electric guitar vocals
Darrel Phillips: Bass backing vocals
Yonrico Scott: drums percussion
Norman Caesar: Hammond B3