Royal Southern Brotherhood will be playing in Lancashire tonight.
The American blues and blues rock supergroup – consisting of singer and percussionist Cyril Neville, vocalist and guitarist Devon Allman, vocalist and guitarist Mike Zito, drummer Yonrico Scott, and bassist Charlie Wooton – play Clitheroe’s The Grand.
Cyril Neville: poet, philosopher, percussion master and perhaps the South’s last great soul singer.
Devon Allman: the son of Gregg Allman has rock ‘n’ roll in his DNA, but he’s always walked his own path.
Mike Zito: the blues ace whose ear for melody provides the counterpoint to his wingman’s rocking tendencies.
Bassist Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott: both heavyweight names in their own right, with Charlie’s bass chops celebrated on the Southern jam scene for his sets with the Woods Brothers, and Yonrico hitting the skins for luminaries including the Derek Trucks Band, Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers themselves.
In the US South, where music is religion; in the saloon bars from Mississippi to Maryland, two rock ‘n’ roll bloodlines tower above all others – mere mention of the Allman and Neville Brothers casts a magic spell.
In 2013, Royal Southern Brotherhood was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Rock Blues Album category and this year they won a Blues Music Award in the DVD of the Year category for Songs From The Road.
Royal Southern Brotherhood came together in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2011.
Reuben Williams, manager to both Neville and Zito, came up with the idea for the band. The two had collaborated on Pearl River, the title track for Zito’s 2009 album, and it went on to win the Blues Music Award Song of the Year.
Zito suggested Devon Allman, who was sceptical of the supergroup idea at first.
According to Allman when his manager broached the subject he replied: “Dude are you crazy? That’s like putting five quarterbacks in a room and saying ‘go play football’. What the hell are you talking about?”
Allman and Zito were old acquaintances, having been friendly musical rivals in the St Louis, Missouri music scene and had worked together managing a Guitar Centre store in 1999.
According to Allman: “We went from talking about the idea, to me and Cyril writing a tune over email, to being in rehearsals, all in two months.”
One aspect of the band is the difference in ages.
At 37, Allman is the youngest while 63-year old Cyril Neville is the eldest.
Allman said: “It’s like it was meant to be. We’re not really reinventing the wheel here, we’re just making sure it keeps rolling.
“I think certain fans out there really have an affinity for music based in soul and blues and rock, classic rock, so you really get that with this band.”
The support comes from up-and-coming star Laurence Jones, dubbed a “cross between Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy”.