The Royal Southern Brotherhood did not disappoint with their debut album, an album I eagerly waited to hear. Fans would expect a solo album by Devon Allman, Mike Zito, or Cyril Neville to be a treat for the ears. Put all three of those musicians together in a modern day super group and add the skilled rhythm section of drummer Yonrico Scott and bassist Charlie Wooten and you have a recipe for a musical gumbo that can satisfy hungry ears. They released an award winning live CD/DVD which won the Blues Music Award for DVD of the Year. Now the band is back with their second studio release Heartsoulblood which might be their best release yet!
The album grabs you with the opening track “World Blues” and never lets you go. The lively blues number gives way to the old school rock of “Rock and Roll.” The third track “Groove On” features a groove that sounds like it could find a comfortable home along side vintage songs by Steely Dan and Santana. On top of the groove the band adds catchy lyrics delivered with soulful vocals and tasty guitar solos. The Brotherhood follow with a funky jam called “Here It Is” before returning to the blues.
“Callous” is a strong blues song. Powerful vocals, lyrics that tell a story, guitar solos that bring the song into its own place from a framework that reminds me of what would happen if you threw vintage Robin Trower into a forgotten blues club in Mississippi. “Ritual” is just plain nasty in the best possible way! “Bring out the whip, bring out the snake baby, bring out your love tonight” is just a taste of the lyrics from the song. It is not a crass song. It’s a song that just plain rocks!
“Shoulda Known” is an old school soul song. It is a joy to listen to because sadly people don’t sing like that anymore and if they do you rarely hear it. The album continues with “Let’s Ride” which will get you ready for the highway. “Trapped” shifts gears again.
No song on this album sounds the same. The band continues to explore new sounds, directions, and yes sometimes they find foundations on retro sounds but they always create something new that is undeniably their own. Royal Southern Brotherhood slows it down on a tasteful slow jam “She’s My Lady” which I can imagine listening to with my lady and slow dancing the night away!
“Takes A Village” is a new blues song that differs from the other blues songs on the album in that the song has a more stripped down, roots feel to it. The harmonized vocals, a small detail I know, sound amazing. The song is still powerful but gets the power from just being finely crafted and delivered simply. The album wraps up with “Love and Peace” which offers sing a long lyrics, a catchy groove, and something you can dance to.
The Royal Southern Brotherhood don’t let down on their second studio release. The band has a strong a future. I expect Heartsoulblood, which was just released this month, to be contender for many awards in 2014-15 and to have many strong reviews. The album will be on my playlist and I recommend you pick up a copy soon your ears will thank you!