Royal Southern Brotherhood : Self-Titled

Written by Jamie Lee

July 8, 2012

Royal Southern Brotherhood is an apt name for players with names like Allman and Neville, names that are synonymous with the South’s musical heritage.

The quintet – Devon Allman, Cyrille Neville, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooten, and Yonrico Scott – is keeping the legacy alive with this project and eponymous debut album. And the group delivers exactly what is expected of the lineup, including requisite slide guitar and plenty of Cajun voodoo, and that is both a win and a loss for Royal Southern Brotherhood. The collaboration falls somewhere between the Allman’s and the Meters, but rarely steps beyond the shade of this expansive musical family tree. At best, this debut offers an atmospheric synthesis of Southern rock and soul (“Left My Heart in Memphis”), and at worst, it capitalizes on a bayou swing that is as thin (“Sweet Jelly Donut”) as the summer air in New Orleans.

The players in Royal Southern Brotherhood come with high expectations, but rather than throwing away the map and heading somewhere new, they hang loose in well-traveled territory.

Royal Southern Brotherhood is out now on Ruf Records.