Royal Southern Brotherhood:
Cyril Neville is known for his amazing vocals and percussion skills as a member of the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame nominees the Meters. Cyril's history may speak for itself but it was his 2013 solo release "Magic Honey" that satisfyingly received critics praise and multiple accolades from around the world including 4 Offbeat Music Awards and a Blues Foundation nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues" CD. What really sums up the life of this Neville is his band Royal Southern Brotherhood. Royal Southern Brotherhood released their self titled debut CD in 2012. Immediately the band set out on a never ending tour performing their own brand of Soulful Rhythm and Blues Rock that would eventually cover 30 countries that same year.
Today Royal Southern Brotherhood's line up has changed for the better. The band has become one with their music and it may have taken a change of guitarist to get there but the entire journey has been well worth it. Mike Zito and Devon Allman broke out of the band that brought them to the music world’s attention in 2014 and were replaced by two ace guitarist Nashville's Bart Walker and Austin Texas guitarist Tyrone Vaughan.
Bart Walker, who takes original member Mike Zito’s spot on, stage left, with his tinted glasses, curly hair and a powerhouse voice. Classically trained, as a formal opera singer, Walker can shift from Ava Maria to Jimi Hendrix in a split second. He cut his non classical chops with Mike Farris from The Screamin’ Cheetah Willies and Reece Wynans (and old SRV bandmate). His 2013 release, Waiting on Daylight, garnered both national and international acclaim. Now a seasoned player, Walker was ready and able to join the Brotherhood. “Joining RSB was the best idea anyone had for me,” said the affable Walker.
Tyrone Vaughan being the son of Jimmie Vaughan and the nephew of the iconic SRV can be a heavy burden to bear. Fortunately, Tyrone is unaffected by the adulation for his family, and developed his own gifted style and signature tone. Tyrone cut his own path by working his way up through the Austin (a town drenched in guitar heroes for the uninitiated) club scene in his teens, eventually packing clubs around Texas. Through hard work, studying the masters and a tip or two from the family, Tyrone has developed a soulful voice along with a guitar tone that mixes blues, rock and texas country. Tyrone’s description of, “in your face,” tone proves accurate when you hear him cut through any mix.
The idea for the new line up came to fruition in January 2015 as the band descended on the infamous FAME STUDIO in Muscle Shoals, AL.
The time together showed when the band arrived at FAME. Producer, Tom Hambridge was so mesmerized by the quintet’s cohesiveness he didn’t want to touch a thing but the record button. Songs like “Anchor Me”, “Hell or High Water”, “Baby Girl” and the title track, “Don’t Look Back” all came from various places as the band toured. Whether it was a sound check in the mid-west or a cheap hotel lobby or some studio in Europe, the band fleshed out their ideas (often recorded on their cell phones), so they had structure and hooks worked out before reaching FAME. This allowed the band and Hambridge to concentrate on performance instead of spending time developing ideas.
The band that took the Blues and Jam world by storm in 2012 has honed it all in and are better then ever performing songs from their three studio recordings as well as the songs that Cyril is known for and has performed with the Meters and Neville Brothers for years.
Cyril Neville is one of the last Southern Soul singers standing and backed by his original ace rhythm section bassist Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott who both came with impressive resumes. While Charlie existence was in and around the southern Jam scene while he lived in Atlanta playing with Oliver Woods and the legendary Yonrico Scott who was as the long time drummer with the Derek Trucks Band which led to playing with Greg Allman and the Allman Brothers themselves. Both musicians are versatile and hold down the bottom and can both compete at the top of their class. RSB comes locked and loaded, fired up and ready to bring you a guaranteed musical experience; One which encompasses the past and takes southern soul rock music into the future.
As for Cyril Neville, he had a musical heart attack as he felt his way the new tunes and members, dancing around FAME recording studio. This past year has been filled with many personal and professional events, all he could do was smile at the journey he was to continue making good music and sharing it with the world.
This young 65 year old singer has long been considered New Orleans royalty for his stints in the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers, Galactic and The Meters. Neville’s career has spawned 45 some odd years and has included performances with music icons such as Bono, Joan Baez, Dr. John and Tab Benoit. In 1989, Cyril penned, “Sister Rosa,” about the Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks. USA Today honored Neville by choosing the song as one of the most inspirational song about Martin Luther King’s, “I Have A Dream,” speech on the 50th anniversary of the historical oration given during the march on Washington (Parks was in attendance). “Sister Rosa” may not have had a change on the movement at the time, but Neville’s composition reminded a country of the thousands of souls that risked their lives to bring an end to a shameful tradition in the US.
This past year, Cyril found himself being interviewed by another drummer, Dave Grohl, of the Foo Fighters, for the “Sonic Highways” documentary on HBO. This eight-part series that followed the Foo Fighters around to various US cities, capturing the music scene and history that is unique to that city. Grohl, who directed the series, interviewed other Nawlins luminaries Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews to gain an understanding of the Crescent City’s unique musical sound.
Neville’s experience combined with these talented, energetic players creates a new sound that remains reverent to the blues traditions. Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions highlights the magic that happens when great songs are performed by great bands. Look for this gem to be available May 26 the new CD is aimed to satisfy every customer leaving them with a smile on their face and a brand new groove in their heart.