Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

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 pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing 

  1. Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
  2. I’ve Seen Enough To Know
  3. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  4. I Wonder Why
  5. I’m Comin’ Home
  6. Everybody Pays Some Dues
  7. Face Of Love
  8. Land of Broken Hearts
  9. Spirit Man
  10. Hooked on Plastic
  11. Can’t Waste Time
  12. 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

CD Review: Royal Southern Brotherhood ~ Don't Look Back

Scan0001Royal Southern Brotherhood
Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions.
RUF Records

 

The third studio album Don’t Look Back is the new line-up looking forward with music that has a RSB feel with subtle differences with new guitarists following the leave-taking of Devon Allman and Mike Zito the partnership was intuitive. This is an album re-stating themselves as a super-group Don’t Look Back is a message that became perfectly clear as I sat back to listen to the album with a slight feeling of apprehension and a shiver of anticipation. The previous line-up were one of the most exciting sounds I have heard in a long time live and in the studio. There was nothing to fear the anticipation was rewarded with a sound that was Royal Southern Brotherhood with a heavier, harsher edge that hit the very nerves that connect your music ear to your inner heartbeat so a new journey has begun. Another music dynasty has been invited to the party Tyrone Vaughan son of Texas blues star Jimmie Vaughan and nephew of the great Stevie Ray Vaughan; joining him up front is Bart Walker a guitarist with panache and they make a sound that drives though the tracks. Proving that difference can be good when incorporated into a solid treble of musicians who understand the music they want to produce. Cyril Neville, the royal soul of the band with his soulful vocals and percussive skills that add tonal excitement whenever they are unleashed; Charlie Wooton with his fingers working his special magic on the bass in perfect partnership with stylish drummer Yonrico Scott.

Opening the album with a full-blown onslaught to your musical senses with I Wanna Be Free, I was once again hooked with the soul, energy and the magic that is Royal Southern Brotherhood then, now and forever.  This is an album that flows with changes of tempo and clever hooks, riffs, and licks. Don’t Look Back may be slower but full of funkiness thanks to Charlie and his bass and is a message to us all listening, decide on the new sound but do not look back and compare this is a new line-up and works just fine and dandy for me.  There is also some wonderful Hammond playing courtesy of Cyril’s nephew Ivan Neville adding a deep layer of funk making the sound so full of greasy splendour on tracks including Reach my Goal and Big Greasy.

Then there are tracks that combine the heat of Latino, the drums of Africa and the music that comes from the street and works its way through your feet, with its mandolin solo then the cry of Penzi, every child is a love child; you just have to move as the music flows.  Love is spread throughout the album; Better Half full of soul and a luscious sound as Cyril’s vocals warm and full of the sweetness of honey you feel the lurve. The theme is picked up with a sharp up beat tempo of It’s Time for Love with its funky shape that zings with emotions a positive feel good track.

The textures and fast delivery of the lyrics with guitar driving the beat Poor Boy has a new tone and shape and tips its hat to hip hop slowed down, shaped and toned with the mellow funk that is RSB.
The album is infused with soul and then there is the blues on Hard Blues and Come Hell Or High Water giving the new guitarists the platform to spar with each other trading notes that fall across the lyrics, and makes the speakers rock with bluesy delight once again creating a structure that is the essence of what makes RSB full of excitement and wonder.  Then they go and do something very different they slow it right down for the last track nailing an acoustic number Anchor Me as the notes die away you know you have listened to an album full of complexities that will just get better every time you listen to it.

An incredible album that captivates; production is tight and the songwriting showing the partnerships and depth of talent within the five-piece by Royal Southern Brotherhood, now re-grouped different with a partnership we will all soon be demanding to hear again and again the sparkling combination of Walker-Vaughan.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

 
Musicians
Cyril Neville: Vocals /Percussion
Bart Walker: Vocals/Guitar/Mandolin/Banjo
Tyrone Vaughan: Vocals/Guitar
Charlie Wooton:  Bass
Yonrico Scott:   Drums/Percussion
Ivan Neville: Hammond B3/Piano/ Clavinet
Jimmy Hall: Saxophone/Vocals
Paul Armstrong: Trumpet

 
Tracks

  1. I Wanna Be Free
  2. Reach My Goal
  3. Don’t Look Back
  4. Hit Me Once
  5. The Big Greasy
  6. Hard Blues
  7. Better Half
  8. Penzi
  9. It’s Time For Love
  10. Bayou Baby
  11. Poor Boy
  12. They Don’t Make ‘Em Like You any more
  13. Come Hell Or High Water
  14. Anchor Me

From Over The Atlantic to Blues on the Farm 2014

Blues On the Farm 2014 – Four Class Acts from U.S.A.

In its 23rd year Blues on the Farm have again bought bands from across the Atlantic; sadly Saturday’s headline Dana Fuchs had to pull out at the last moment due to family illness, we can just keep our fingers crossed that Dana will grace the stage in 2015; many of us were looking forward to hearing her perform live tracks from her stunning album Bliss Avenue.

Blues on The Farm 2014 had four acts from the U.S.A and three appeared on the Friday all were different bring their own stylish brand of music.

Lisa Mills - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0010lThis year first up who included a stop of at the festival on her current tour was the effervescent Lisa Mills with Worcestershire born Ian Jennings on Double bass making this a duo delivering a little bit country, ballads and blues and cracking music bringing even more sunshine to a hot Saturday in June. Lisa has a fantastic voice that brings colour, light and emotions to every lyric she sings, with guitar in hand named Jezebel the sound is complimented by Ian’s stylish playing adding a depth of sound that makes this duo a winning and popular combination. Initially inside the marque was sparsely filled as festival goer sat in the June sunshine but as the voice radiated across the grounds people were drawn to the music and the powerful vocal range of Lisa’s voice. The set included request of I’m Changing’ from her many fans delighted to see her again, and reminding us why we like this duo. All the numbers were delivered with passion and feeling as Lisa linked the songs with stories that ensured everyone warmed to her and felt she was singing to them articulating feelings many have/are experiencing. You can be certain that this duo deliver every time sparing no energy for the next time they perform with energy and gusto that brings a feel good feeling to the occasion. Lisa sang two of my favourites from her last album Tempered with Fire, Keep on Smiling that had a great interactive instrumental interlude, with Ian mastering that oft illusive musical skill using silence to highlight specific notes and I Never Fall In Love Again with its boogie woogie feel , the style of music Ian loves to play with some superb slap bass and a virtuoso solo.
I can remember hearing her with a full band and that was very special so be good to see her back next time in this format; there is no doubt that Lisa can write a great country blues ballad about love lost and regained; it would ring the changes if the songs really stretched her melodious voice and crossed over to deliver some gospel/soul numbers to and even greater depth of tempo and sound. That said the crowds loved her and Ian just as she is and will no doubt be filling venues across the country this summer and we are all waiting in anticipation of her new album new remixed version of the I’m Changing – release date will be soon so watch for the announcement.

 

Hamilton Loomis - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0032lHamilton Loomis with his stellar line-up in the band of Armando Aussenac (Drums) born in Mexico City, Fabian Hernandez (Saxes, Keys, Background Vocals) a Texan from Dallas and Dante Ware (Bass, Background Vocals) born in Trenton N.J Opening the early evening slot with Partner In Crime the festival was full of the distinctive Hamilton style that feels the festival ground with a feeling of well-being. Tonight was no different as he delivered a very potent set of raunchy Texan blues This is a band that is so tight from the second perfect use of stopping and starting to the in time body swaying of Hamilton , Dante and Fabian; this is not rehearsed choreography but a feel of the music and the accentuation of a style Hamilton has always has, it works so well as their bodies move and stop in harmony matching the flow and syncopation of the music and real stage show that hits all the right spots. The set was professional, fun and interactive as Hamilton took the opportunity to display all the intricate musical shapes on his latest album Give It Back; including a dynamic live version of Eternally; Stuck In a Rut; that this line-up is definitely not with the rhythm section providing so much more than a solid foundation for Hamilton’s guitar playing out front, they add little licks and drum rolls that bring the music alive; then the other layer of sound that Fabian brings either on saxophone or keys, this line-up works so well making the sound fully with a bit more attitude. As ever Hamilton delighted everyone by jumping off the stage into the crowd during Bow Bow as he toured the marque getting up close and personal, left to their own devises the boys on the stage filled in with little quirky melodies turning Bow Bow into an exciting musical spectacular that every festival needs; and for me this is the best I have heard Hamilton Loomis play at any British Festival.
 


 

Royal Southern brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_1026lFriday’s Headline act were Royal Southern Brotherhood, see review Headlines @ Blues on the Farm.. This is a band that came, played and left a base of British fans who now have the essence off the band distilled into their musical blood and will be making every effort to see them again and enjoy listening to the music courtesy of the music they purchased whether the bands latest heartsoulblood or Cyril Neville’s Honey Magic; Devon Allman’s solo album Turquoise, Mike Zito and The Wheel, Charlie Wooton Project or Yonrinco Scotts’ Quest of The Big Drum…………
 
 

Moreland and Arbuckle - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0084lNow it is Sunday late afternoon, the sun has shone over the festival every day and now taking the stage are Moreland and Arbuckle; as they hit the stage and struck their first chords the volume had gone up you knew this was a high-voltage trio from across the pond! Formed in 2001 guitarist Aaron Moreland and vocalist/blues harp player Dustin Arbuckle met in Wichita, Kansas and quickly formed an acoustic duo playing traditional and delta blues today they are joined by drummer Kendall Newby which makes for a harder sound with the added depth of a solid back line.

They delivered a dynamic mix of standards and self-penned numbers; including Rollin’ and Tumblin’ which the trio have made their own with a stylish delivery. They have created out of the bedrock of rootsy sound that has blended and melded blues, Southern rock with more than a twist of Psychedelia and then into the musical cocktail traces of styles including soul and echoes of quality music from across time. This is a distinctive sound that makes them instantly recognisable. As they delivered tracks from their latest album 7 Cities, the sound just meant there was a queue to purchase the CD and take some southern magic home with you. There is no doubt about it Kow Tow and The Devil Me together helped album sales!and and the festival crowds got closer as they were pulled into the groove being created and dancing shoes were to the fore. The harp riffs that soar above the guitar have to be listened to and then there is the cigar box with its own distinctive sound with incorporation of the bass string that really suits the guitar style of Aaron Moreland. Just a Dream was driven by hardcore rhythm allowing Arbuckle’s vocals and harp playing take centre stage.
 


 
What a quartet Julian Mores and his team have assembled for 2014 all the acts were throughly enjoyed by the Blues on the Farm festival goers.

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Headline Acts @ Blues On The Farm 2014

530586_10151220959912724_204957856_nBlues on the Farm ~ The Headliners
 
Friday 20th June – Royal Southern Brotherhood
 
Saturday 21st June – King King
 
Sunday 22nd June 2014 – Big Dez

 

Friday night the crowds had been fed a diet if superb music and as the sky darkened the anticipation was electric as everyone waited for Royal Southern Brotherhood to step on the stage.

Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0774lThis was for many the first opportunity that they have had to hear the band live and at Blues On The Farm you could get right up close to see the action and interaction between the five musicians on-stage. On drums the dynamic, energetic talented Grammy award-winning Yonrico Scott, Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0822lhe has played with an array of artists that read like a Who’s Who of the musical lexicon of the twentieth century including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., The Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, Gregg Allman, The Supremes, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His drumming is a loose jazzy style that provides a bedrock of sounds and freedom that allows the drums to ebb and flow through and over the music in perfect time. Strengthening the rhythm section on bass is Louisiana born Charlie WoottonRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0807l who when not playing with RSB, like all five of them, has his own projects, and his bass solo mesmerised the crowds with the dexterity and tonal reach of his bass playing as he danced his fingers up the fret board and danced around the stage. Up front and lean are the trio of grammy award winner Cyril NevilleRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0697l (Vocals & percussion) bringing to this music fest that is RSB style, panache and some Southern Soul that so personified The Meters where he backed the music and poetry of his brother Art; the guitarist Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0808lMike Zito who brings inventive guitar work as the guitar and him become one flowing with music, passion and fire; and the lead guitarist and vocalist Devon Allman,Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0914l making the Gibson sing bringing stunning blues rock guitar evoking sounds from the past with a twist of modernity solo’s that bring the whole band into a homogeneous whole. The set included numbers from their own albums and the latest RSB album Heartsoulblood. The highlights of this stunning set were Magic Honey with Cyrille’s vocals made the crowd hold their collective breath not wishing the track to end; Running Water; ‘Groove On
 
Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0886lDuring the set there was the guest appearance of Hamilton Loomis who brought his blues harp to the jam and generating a real party atmosphere on the stage as the Blues on the Farm temperature rose. The encore included the re-working of Rush’s famous and instantaneously recognised track Working Man; wow is the only word to sum up this varied multi-textured sound from a band that is full of virtuoso musicians. These are individual musicians who independently have created solo albums and albums with other groups, they know how to ply their trade and what could be a clash of ego’s is in fact a collective who respect and value what everyone brings to the sound that is Royal Southern Brotherhood, creating great music that is fresh and lively and a joy to listen to.

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King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0249lSaturday, longest day of the year and the sky was dimmed rather than darkened as King King British Blues Award winning Band, were announced by Julian Moores, the crowd erupted as the ever popular frontman in a kilt Alan Nimmo who lights any festival fire entered the stage, with tonight on wurlitzer Hammond Organ the Dutchman Bob FridzemaKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0072l who also provided backing vocals along with Wayne Proctor who provides the rocky Blues drumming that sets the tone of the band no wonder he has won British Blues Awards, combined with bassist King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0015lLindsay Coulson this is the platform that allows Alan to stand out front showcasing his wonderful vocals and guitar skills that leave you hanging on every note. It is no wonder that in many people’s eyes they are Britain’s best blues band, delivering polished performance of quality blues playing they do just keep getting better and better. The set included many of the numbers from their latest CD Standing in The Shadows interspersed with what have become King King classics that the fans expect. There was no standing in the shadow as they lifted the roof of the marquee and Alan engaged with the lively Saturday night audience who had enjoyed the hot day in the sun sampling the renowned delights of the famous BOTF beer tent. From the current album another fine live rendition of the Scottish rock singer-songwriter Frankie Miller’s, Jealousy that leaves the spine tingling as Alan pours buckets of emotional tension into the vocals and through the guitar strings along with two other fantastic tracks that were highlights for me A Long History of Love with vocals and award-winning Wayne ProctorKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0079l drumming that shows the journey and Alan’s vocals ebb and flow like a tidal wave of lyrical out-pourings that are picked up and reflected back by his guitar and the keys this song could go on all night and the audience would still be delighted and Can’t Keep From Trying. Alan makes his guitar weep the performance is always super-charged as he represents an array of feelings from despair to confusion and the musicians around him build on this so that the atmosphere of the live music sound is taut with everybody’s collective reaction to the experiences they have gone through. Added into the mix were tracks fans in the audience just want to hear including Heart Without a Soul and Old Love which he did and he even with a master class in crowd control got the excited festival crowd to quieten down so that as the sound went down the magic went up. What a finale to the longest day of 2014 as the notes died away the crowd dispersed knowing first light was only a few hours away and another day and another headliner beckoned for the festival.

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Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0023lSunday’s last act, last headline of 2014 the hours of Blues of The Farm 2014 were few… still there is next year and the festival ended on a high note with French band Big Dez. The only band I had not seen live or even heard a CD so was looking forward to what they had to offer. This six-piece played with a style that refused to be boxed in yes, Phil Fernandez on guitar more than doff’s his hat at Albert Collins combined with vocals that were easy on the ear and delivered a real electric blues sound. They delivered a set that echoes their latest album Wet Paint, that covers a palette of blues styles so they retain your interest and on stage with him were Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0048lBala Pradal on keys and Marc Schaeller (blues-harp) and on rhythm & slide guitar Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0019lRodolphe Dumont; the back line consisted of Bruno Maurin BassBig Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0025l and Karim Bouazza on drums Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0012lproviding solidity and ensured every track had shape and form. Big Dez is out front with his spectacular guitar work full of control and hidden depths of passion and a voice that carries the lyrics. The set was a mix of styles and was not just an opportunity to sell is latest CD, his seventh with the band, who ply their trade, with selection of tracks from their various albums, including Anywhere Please from their 2009 album Late Live!; released the same year as with sponsorship of Blues Sur Seine, the band represented France at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Big Dez is full of blues energy that sparks between him and the band and the excellent rhythm guitarist Rod has the skill to spark off the guitar work of Big Dez and add layers of musical interest. Plying their trade around Paris they have developed a style that will not be boxed in this is not Blues set in aspic there is an open door in which they have welcomed funk, jazz and soul combined with lyrics that are full of wistfulness, regret and yearning a perfect cocktail that is Big Dez and French electric blues swizzled and stirred with Texan style and Chicago Ice they deliver self penned numbers that have licks and chords that makes the mouth water. The hardy festival goers left happy with the blues but left wanting more so come back and do a few more festivals blues of this calibre deserves to be heard blues numbers that included Lazy Star, You Can Smile,Ace Up Your Sleeve and a great version of Booker T’s Green Onions.

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So the headliners from over the Pond, British award-winning band and from across the channel and did the festival proud with three different acts showing that blues is open to musical interpretations that all have one thing in common they play with your emotions and deliver great music leaving you wanting more.

The Royal Southern Brotherhood @ The Flowerpot Derby

Samantha Fish Opening for The Royal Southern Brotherhood
@ The Flowerpot, Derby, Friday 27th September


There was an air of controlled anticipated excitement at The Flowerpot, the atmosphere was evident as soon as you walked in an hour before the gig was due to start. There was a lot of chatter about how good the evening was going to be and how everyone was looking forward to the evening; so the stakes were set very high for The Royal Southern Brotherhood with its celebrated line-up

Before the main event of the night, Samantha Fish had the unenviable task of being the opening act when the audience was already buzzing; and from the moment she stepped on stage with her guitar she was making friends and fans through the clarity and authenticity of her playing style. Those of us that had heard her last album “Black Wind Howlin’” were expecting this but for others it was a delightful new experience. Her use of the cigar box bought another musical texture and then she was joined by Grammy award-winning drummer Yonrico Scott, celebrated bassist Charlie Wootton and guitarist and the producer of her latest album Mike Zito this was live music full of excitement that bought the tracks from the album to life breathing in the energy that the artist gets from the crowds and feeds back through the music. Samantha is no doubt the real deal great guitar player with her strong guitar licks, combined with a great voice which articulates the songs with meaning and clarity a glorious 45 minutes of blues driven music but we were all still anticipating the act to come.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Flowerpot -  Sept 2013_0313

The Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) hit the stage with the double guitar sound provided by the talented pair Devon Allman and Mike Zito, whose complimentary sounds created a musical harmony and exciting southern rock blues driven music. Added to this powerhouse at the front is Cyril Neville with his silky smooth but gritty vocals and percussive rhythms, but for the RSB a trio is not enough to deliver the powerhouse of Southern Rock sound they produce, so into the mix is added the talented Charlie Wooton on Bass and at the back of the stage the powerhouse of the group drummer extraordinaire, Yonrico Scott. Opening the proceedings with Paul Butterfield’s ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ demonstrated the talent and the easy way they all compliment each other, they are not individual pieces of a jigsaw they fit snugly together creating a fully picture of tones, harmonies and sounds, that is pure ecstasy! Mike Zito put his silver flying V to good use on the next delivery, one of his own ‘Hurts My Heart’ this put a little bit of funk into the proceedings as the excitement on the floor was getting more intense with every note RSB delivered tonight at The Flowerpot. For over two hours they entertained, teased and mesmerised us as the focus went from Devon’s deft and skillful licks, his vocals with a distinctive growl or Cyril adding that bit of soul to the proceedings and the hit of African rhythms and a times the sound or Bob Marley; then Charlie Wootons superlative bass playing wow what a solo… Mike Zito interchanging guitars going from leading the pace to add that extra layer seamlessly and then the tightest drummer providing a bedrock for the rest to play from. RSB were definitely on fire and enjoying themselves, at times there was a distinctive feel of a jam but this was quality jamming made up from talent individuals creating a cohesive and controlled sound. All thirteen songs delivered tonight deserve a mention as they all were a little bit special but for me the highlights have to be Cyril’s own title track ‘Magic Honey’ phew that was a blow away funky number, Grateful Dead’s; ‘Fire on The Mountain’ and the glorious Devon vocals that delivered ‘Gotta Keep On Rockin’ that said it all and summed up the night and why it is vital to keep music live.

The encore was the third segment of the evening as Samantha Fish joined RSB, with the fantastic duet straight from Devon’s album Turquoise ‘Stop Draggin My Heart Around’ that set the emotions on fire and the energy in the audience reached a new high – this has to be my gig of the year – a whole week later and I am still reliving the experience and for once Wow really means WOW!!!!

There can be no denying that Samantha and The Royal Southern Brotherhood, came to The Flowerpot, Derby, conquered our hearts, and left some musical magic dust in our souls. When are you coming back? very soon we hope and a big shout to Alan and Lisa that are RAW Promo for putting on another stunning evening of live entertainment.

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All photographs copyright Liz Aiken