Release Date: 2014
Label: Ruf Records
- World Blues
- Rock And Roll
- Groove On
- Here It Is
- Shoulda Known
- Let’s Ride
- She’s My Lady
- Takes A Village
- Love And Peace
- Mike Zito – Guitar & Vocals
- Devon Allman – Guitar & Vocals
- Cyril Neville – Percussion & Vocals
- Yonrico Scott – Drums & Vocals
- Charlie Wooton – Bass & Vocals
Reviewed in OffBeat
Robert Fontenot (September 2014 Issue)
After a fine, but ultimately stop-gap, live album, here’s this rock-soul supergroup’s first true follow-up to their debut.
The exciting news is that the five-piece’s personalities have already congealed—it can only be a good sign when the seams between this much Americana disappear. It’s already hard to tell where Cyril Neville ends and Mike Zito begins, for example. But one player’s zig is becoming indistinguishable from another’s zag behind the pen as well; “Rock and Roll” is closer to Duane Allman’s idea of rock and roll than, say, Chuck Berry’s, but it’s actually Neville’s baby, while Duane’s nephew Devon’s main contribution, the country/soul/blues ballad “Shoulda Known,” sounds like a Neville outtake.
Zito’s “Ritual” is the kind of crunching bar blaster you’d expect from a blues-rock mainstay, but the sanctified lament “It Takes a Village” comes straight from Neville’s sociopolitical playbook.
When they’re working at full power—and with the backing of young-blood rhythm section Charlie Wooton on bass and Yonrico Scott on drums—the Royal Southern Brotherhood are just that: a melding of funk backbeat with Southern-rock grit, an upbeat pop sensibility, and field-holler righteousness, as evident on the closer, “Love and Peace.”
There aren’t any covers among these dozen tracks, either; having progressed from a bar band that plays what they think the audience wants to a studio group interested in pushing boundaries, the RSB probably figured they’d outgrown them.
And so they have.