Royal Southern Brotherhood - The Royal Gospel album review

It’s a family affair.

Royal Southern Brotherhood The Royal Gospel album cover

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Portmanteau groups have been all the rage for decades, so finding Meters man Cyril Neville in cahoots with Jimmie Vaughan’s son Tyrone, a bunch of jam pals and producer David Z is no biggie. Luckily the Brotherhood don’t waste time unlocking their sound: fat grooves with enough Louisianan hot sauce to justify the project.

Neville picks up from his own Magic Honey album, majoring on social-message songs given punchy vocal gravitas. He excels on Blood Is Thicker Than Water, its mutant reggae metal funk echoing Citizen Cope. Guitarists Bart Walker and Vaughn – a chip off the old block – cover the blues bases, even when faced with the slushy Face Of Love.

The title suggests proselytising is on offer, but since Hooked On The Plastic flashes by like Allen Toussaint and Chocolate Milk that’s forgivable. If not quite a fire on the bayou it’s a lot better than okey-doke.

Max Bell

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.