Royal Southern Brotherhood
The Royal Gospel
This blues-rock super-group recorded its first self-titled album in 2012. While touring Europe the following year they developed into a tight unit and recorded the Blues Music Award winning “Songs from the Road – Live in Germany”. Their sophomore studio recording 2014’s “Heart Soul Blood” was also critically acclaimed. In 2015 after two personnel changes they hit their stride again with “Don’t Look Back”.
“The Royal Gospel” is the fourth studio album from The Royal Southern Brotherhood. The band now includes original members Cyril Neville, percussion and vocals; and Yonrico Scott, drums and percussion. Recently they added members Bart Walker, guitars and vocals; and Tyrone Vaughan, electric guitar and vocals. Charlie Wooten left the band and was replaced with their newest member Darrell Phillips, bass and backing vocals. Norman Caesar sits in on the Hammond B-3 for this session. The album is produced by David Z who also produced their previous two studio albums.
The songwriting is predominately from Neville who has co-written eight songs, six of them with Walker with whom he enjoys a special songwriting relationship. The fabulous “Blood is Thicker than Water”; the anthem “Everybody Pays Some Dues”, the revivalist “Stand Up”, and the beautiful “I’m Coming Home” are all receiving a considerable amount of airplay. The pair also collaborated with Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson on “Spirit Man” which features a vocal and great slide guitar from Walker.
The opening track “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire” and “Can’t Waste Time” were written by Neville with Vaughan.On the latter Vaughan takes a guitar solo while the band chants “takes time”.
Producer David Z also hand picked two songs. “I’ve Seen Enough to Know” was written by Grammy winning songwriter Jeff Silbar and Billy Valentine. Sung by Neville, the song includes the powerful lyric “I’ve seen too much” and Caesar on the B-3. The poignant “Face of Love” was also written by Silbar, this time with singer-songwriter Michael McDonald and bassist Tommy Sims. Neville’s voice, Walker’s acoustic guitar and great production make this one of the highlights on this outstanding album.
“I Wonder Why” is from Pops Staples. Neville’s emotional vocal is combined with great backing vocals from the band, Caesar’s organ, a great groove from the rhythm section of Scott and Phillips, and excellent overall production by David Z.
Neville states that the Blues is the spirit of Jazz and the roux of America’s musical and cultural gumbo. The Royal Southern Brotherhood are master chef’s as this album is chocked full of great recipes.