Royal Southern Brotherhood Don't Look Back on 180g 2LP
Ruf Records recording group, Royal Southern Brotherhood return with their much anticipated third studio album, Don’t Look Back. The album was recorded at the legendary FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals and produced by Grammy award winning producer, Tom Hambridge, along with some new talent has created RSB’s best studio effort to date. The magic of FAME Studio was not lost on band leader, Cyril Neville. The longtime musical icon almost sounded like a star struck upstart when speaking of the experience, stating, “I stood in the same place (vocal booth) as Wilson Pickett!”
The energy and excitement was not lost on the rest of the band or the music of Don’t Look Back. The process began when the band gathered at a rented house along the Tennessee River. The river is famous for the singing-like sounds it makes as the waves lap against the shores. According to the legend of The Singing River; which is associated with the Yuchie tribe, believed the flowing waters sounded like a woman singing. Rueben Williams, a Louisiana native and the band’s manager calls it “tree-verb” when he is down in the state’s bayous and swamps.
The time in the house not only inspired much of the material, it allowed the band to develop the chemistry that separates a band from a group of musicians. For their third effort RSB brought in two new fiery guitar slingers, Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan, who have been added to breathe new energy into Royal Southern Brotherhood’s sound. The new blood is there to help the venerable Cyril Neville and powerhouse rhythm section Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton up the funk while maintaining the blues and rock edge that has brought Royal Southern Brotherhood a growing, worldwide audience.
The time together showed when the band arrived at FAME. 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’s two new members, Vaughan and Walker fit the band’s new, ‘up the funk’ direction perfectly while bringing their own unique talents to the project. Classically trained, Walker cut his non classical chops with Mike Farris from The Screamin’ Cheetah Willies and keyboardist Reece Wynans (and old SRV bandmate). This was Vaughan’s only second time collectively playing with the others and he fell into place as if he were a longtime bandmate. 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.
As for Cyril, once the voice behind the Meters and world famous Neville Brothers, he felt his way through the new tunes and members, as his one of a kind soulful energized the recording studio. Although 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.
Cyril Neville: vocals, percussions
Bart Walker: guitar, mandolin, vocals,
Tyrone Vaughan: vocals, guitar
Charlie Wooton: bass
Yonrico Scott: drums, percussion
Ivan Neville: Hammond B3,piano
Jimmy Hall: saxophone, vocals
Max Abrams: saxophone
Paul Armstrong: trumpet