The Royal Southern Brotherhood return with their eagerly anticipated third studio album Don’t Look Back.
There’s been a lot of change in the Royal Southern Brotherhood camp in recent months. Mike Zito and Devon Allman departing from the band in pursuit of their respective solo careers. However, as one door closes another one opens. The band enter a new chapter leaving behind one famous family of musical heritage the Allmans and recruiting from another in the shape of the Vaughans.
Tyrone Vaughan son of Jimmie Vaughan and nephew of the great Stevie Ray Vaughan recently joined the band taking the vacant position left by Devon Allman. Bart Walker replacing Mike Zito to join forces with their legendary band leader Cyril Neville, bass player Charlie Wooton and Grammy award winning drummer Yonrico Scott.
Last year the band regrouped at the world renowned FAME studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama along with Grammy award winning producer Tom Hambridge to record their latest album Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions.
The opening track of the album “I Wanna Be Free” is an up-tempo rocking number, with a ferocious groove from Yonrico Scott and sets the album up nicely. On the other hand “Don’t Look Back” is a slower number, with a great funky bass line from Charlie Wooton and infused with some nice banjo playing from Bart Walker.
Keeping it in the family, Cyril’s nephew Ivan Neville from Dumpstaphunk features on the record with superb Hammond playing on some of the funkier numbers likes of “Reach My Goal”, “Hit Me Once” and “Big Greasy”. The funk is complemented by the soul on tracks like the heartfelt “Better Half” and “It’s Time For Love”.
“They Don’t Make ‘Em Like You No More” is one of the stand out tracks on the album, it’s funky, up tempo, with a huge sound. Trumpet player “Paul Armstrong” giving the band’s sound a new dimension.
Going back to what the Royal Southern Brotherhood are known best for, the album also features some nice blues rock in the shape of “Come Hell or High Water” and “Hard Blues” giving the new dueling guitar partnership of Vaughan and Walker the chance to let loose with some great slide guitar playing on the later. The band slow it right down for the beautiful acoustic number “Anchor Me” which Cyril Neville wrote with Anders Osborne.
The album packs a punch with a whole lot of funk and is oozing soul; Cyril Neville’s influence is prominent throughout. The band are tight with an album which sounds much larger than life in comparison to the last two RSB studio albums. Don’t Look Back is an incredibly well produced album, and will appeal to a whole cross section of music fans whether they are into blues, funk, rock or soul.
Photo: © Jerry Moran