Ruf Records announces the signing of Royal Southern Brotherhood, which consists of Cyril Neville (percussion and vocals), Devon Allman (guitar and vocals), Mike Zito (guitar and vocals), Charlie Wooton (bass) and Yonrico Scott (drums), and will release the group’s debut self-titled CD on May 8. The new CD was produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines and recorded at Dockside Studio near Lafayette, Louisiana. Ruf Records is distributed in the U.S. by the Allegro Corporation.
Fans can get a preview of the new songs when the band does an early northeastern swing of dates, including a very special “After-Party” late show at B.B. King’s in New York City on March 9, the opening night of The Allman Brothers Band annual concert series at the Beacon Theater.
Royal Southern Brotherhood unites two legendary roots-rock bloodlines along with a rising star guitarist and an in-the-pocket rhythm section for one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the past decade. What started out as a rumor and a few informal local gigs at various New Orleans venues has developed into a full-fledged powerhouse of soulful sound that’s rockin,’ funky and all-together groove-a-licious. Incubated in the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer in 2010, Cyril, Devon and Mike crossed paths and set in motion the beginnings of what would become Royal Southern Brotherhood, beginning with jams held at a secluded studio in the city’s Garden District. When the musical sparks began to fly and the personal chemistry coalesced, the trio began to explore the real idea of forming a band to bring this new music to life. Their debut show last September at the city’s Rock ‘n’ Bowl tore the roof off the place and launched a horde of YouTube videos that burned across the internet.
Royal Southern Brotherhood has it all: incendiary playing with the twin lead guitars of Allman and Zito, coupled with Neville’s funky percussion work and the rhythm section of Wooton and Scott that literally kicks ass; lead vocals and three-part harmonies that drip with soul and passion; and a boatload of songs that deliver on the promise of what the band brings to the table with its musical chops.
Cyril Neville is a part of the first family of New Orleans roots and funk. Beginning in the 1970s, Neville soared both as a solo performer and as a member in a host of other groups, most notably the iconic band, The Meters. Cyril went on to add his percussion and vocals to such classic Meters albums as Cabbage Alley (1972) and Fire on the Bayou (1975) and joined the group when they were personally invited by Mick Jagger to open the Rolling Stones stadium tour of 1975. Also included in his long resume is work with another legend, The Neville Brothers, as well as with Bob Dylan, Bono, Willie Nelson, Galactic and his own band, Tribe 13.
Although Devon Allman grew up in St. Louis apart from his father, one listen to his smoky vocals demonstrates that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Coupled with a guitar style that would have made his uncle Duane proud, Devon set out to create his own place in the music world, forming the band Honeytribe in 1999 and touring all over the world. His blues-rock style of guitar work and soulful singing clearly stamped him as an emerging light within the blues-rock realm. He’s had a Top 10 hit in Spain with Javier Vargas, recorded on albums with the legendary Jack Bruce and jammed with musical heavyweights Les Paul and Bill Gibbons. And he’s even been known to show up onstage with that group his daddy still leads after over 40 years, The Allman Brothers Band.
Former St. Louis native Mike Zito has been a rising star in blues for the past several years, both as a performer and a producer. He’s already picked up some hardware within the blues world, having won the Blues Music Award in 2010 as “Song of the Year” for the title track of Pearl River, which he co-wrote with Cyril Neville. Mike’s currently nominated for another BMA, this time as “Rock Blues Album” for his latest CD, Greyhound. With Zito having been a former St. Louis touring circuit contemporary of Devon Allman, the meeting of the two in the RSB was destined as an organic serendipity.
Forming the rock-solid foundation of the band and stirring up the musical gumbo sound of Royal Southern Brotherhood are bassist Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott, both with ties to Atlanta (Wooton now lives in New Orleans). Before relocating to the Crescent City, Wooton’s snaky bass lines were a mainstay of the Atlanta club circuit, playing with his own band, as well as Zydefunk and jamming with the Wood Brothers. Yonrico Scott’s drumming was a featured part with his long-time membership in The Derek Trucks Band. He’s also played with a host of others including the Col. Bruce Hampton and Ike Stubblefield aggregations and jammed onstage with Gregg Allman, Bonnie Bramlett and The Allman Brothers Band.
ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD TOUR DATES:
3/7 Katherine Hepburn PAC Old Saybrook, CT
3/8 Infinity Hall Norfolk, CT
3/9 B.B. King’s New York, NY
3/10 Club Helsinki Hudson, NY
3/11 The Bull Run Shirley, MA
3/13 Treasure Lake Ski Lodge Dubois, PA
3/30 The Tbois Blues Festival Larose, LA
3/31 Mid City Rock ‘n’ Bowl New Orleans, LA
4/13 The House of Blues New Orleans, LA
4/14 Baton Rouge Blues Festival Baton Rouge, LA
4/15 The French Quarter Festival New Orleans, LA
4/27 Mid City Rock ‘n’ Bowl New Orleans, LA
5/4 The Republic New Orleans, LA
5/6 Mid City Rock ‘n’ Bowl New Orleans, LA
5/11 & 5/12 Brick and Mortar San Francisco, CA
5/16 The Compound Grill Phoenix, AZ
5/17 Anthology San Diego, CA
5/19 Moe’s Alley Santa Cruz, CA
5/20 The Powerhouse Pub Folsom, CA
5/27 Party at the Point Gulfport, MS
6/7 Whiskey Roadhouse Council Bluffs, IA
6/8 Olathe Music Series Olathe, KS
6/9 Sioux City Community Theater Sioux City, IA
6/10 Li’l Memphis Rock ’n’ Blues BBQ Memphis, MO
6/12 Woodlands Tavern Columbus, OH
6/13 Riverbend Festival Chattanooga, TN
6/14 Young Avenue Deli Memphis, TN
6/15 Third & Lindsley Nashville, TN
6/17 The Arts Center Carrboro, NC
6/22 Leura Hill Eastman PAC Fryeburg, ME
6/23 The Flying Monkey PAC Plymouth, NH
6/24 Paulie’s NOLA Jazz Fest Worcester, MA
6/29 Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival Champaign, IL
Additional dates forthcoming…