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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Royal Southern Brotherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Southern Brotherhood. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2015

Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Fest lineup announced: Candye Kane, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Leo "Bud" Welch, Dwayne Dopsie, more

Los Angeles area’s largest Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Roots music festival, held over Memorial Day weekend, features two stages, a Mardi Gras parade, crafts and dozens of food booths
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The 26th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival will rock once again at Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, at Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Ave., in Simi Valley. The event features two full stages for each of its musical genres. Music will proceed non-stop each day from 12 noon until 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults (13 and over) and children 12 and younger are free.  Discount single day tickets of $20 and two-day passes for $35 are available only online at Parking is ample and free. Fast-moving California Hwy. 118 (Ronald Reagan Freeway) can be taken to the Stearns Street exit; the festival is four blocks south.
The blues stage features classic blues-rock (Spencer Davis Group, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Canned Heat) with a side trip into swing (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), plus the first-ever West Coast appearance of 82-year-old Mississippi bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch. West Coast legends Candye Kane and Guitar Shorty return to the blues stage, while “super group” Royal Southern Brotherhood (featuring Cyril Neville, Devon Allman and Mike Zito) make their Southern California festival debut.
Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers become the first band to cross over from the Cajun/Zydeco stage to the blues stage. Two-time Grammy winners Terrance Simien & His Zydeco Experience make their Simi Valley debut, as do Grammy-nominated Arhoolie recording artists The Magnolia Sisters. Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Ruben Moreno, Curley Taylor and Jeffrey Broussard round out the lineup, making the Cajun/Zydeco Stage the pre-eminent Southern California showcase for Louisiana-inflected music.
The annual Mardi Gras Parade will take place both days at 4 p.m.
About the performers:
• Candye Kane, according to B.B. King, “has that big, brassy voice that has authority and sass; the kind of thing men like because it’s seductive and women like because it’s powerful.” Candye cut her musical teeth in the early ‘80s onstage with Hollywood musicians and friends like Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, The Blasters, X, Fear and Los Lobos to name just a few. Her fans are a mixture of true outsiders: bikers, blues fans, punk rockers, drag queens, big girls, burlesque dancers, rockabilly and swing dancers, gray-haired hippies, and everyday folk of all ages. Her live shows are the stuff of legend  she belts, growls, shouts, croons and moans from a lifetime of suffering and overcoming obstacles.
Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. The band gained international attention and secured its legacy with performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Who) and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival. Canned Heat’s unique blend of modern electric blues, rock and boogie has earned them a loyal following and influenced many aspiring guitarists and bands during the past 40 years. Their hits “On the Road Again,” “Let’s Work Together” and “Going up the Country” became rock anthems throughout the world with the last being adopted as the unofficial theme song for the film Woodstock and the “Woodstock Generation.” More than 40 years later and with 36 albums to its credit, Canned Heat is still going strong. Anchored throughout by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra (a member since 1967) and with one of their strongest lineups ever, Canned Heat is on track to carry the boogie-blues it made famous well into the 21st century. Since 2009, the lineup has Fito on drums, Greg Kage on bass and vocals, Barry Levenson on lead guitar, and Dale Spalding on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals. The band’s most recent CD is entitled Friends in the Can. This record brings together a number of Canned Heat’s musical friends from the past and present to join them in this musical collaboration and celebration of Canned Heat’s career. Fito’s book, Living the Blues, is available through the band’s web site.
• Royal Southern Brotherhood: Before they even hit a chord, this band has your attention. In the South, where music is religion, two rock ‘n’ roll bloodlines tower above all others. In saloon bars from Mississippi to Maryland, mere mention of the Allman and Neville Brothers casts a magic spell. With a lineup that includes both Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, Royal Southern Brotherhood come pre-loaded with expectations. The family tree might be auspicious, but the new band trades on talent, not genealogy. Let’s rewind to the summer of 2010 and the stifling heat of New Orleans and a pivotal meeting between Cyril, Devon and Mike Zito. Talk turned to forming a new breed of blues-rock band, and when jams began at a secluded studio in the city’s Garden District, the fizzing chemistry was too strong to deny. Their debut album was produced by the legendary Jim Gaines in Louisiana. The rest is history as the band is set to release their third studio album, Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions, on May 26.
• Spencer Davis Group: Davis, born in Wales, created the famed Spencer Davis Group in 1963, helping to bring British rock ‘n’ roll to the rest of the world. Among nearly 20 Top 10 hit songs are “Gimme Some Lovin,” “Somebody Help Me,” “I’m a Man” and “Keep on Running.” The popularity of these tunes lives on as Davis continues to tour internationally. His latest album is titled So Far on Fuel Records.
• Big Brother & the Holding Company first performed in the Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, in 1965. After their appearance at The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, lead singer Janis Joplin quickly became a phenomenon, and Big Brother made a real contribution to Janis’ rise to international fame. Big Brother’s classic 1968 album Cheap Thrills charted at #1 for eight weeks. After Joplin left the band in 1968, Big Brother continued to perform with a new female vocalist before disbanding in 1972. Having reformed with the original four members in 1987, they have performed worldwide and throughout the United States. In 2007 Big Brother joined the Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Tour with Jefferson Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service, David & Linda LaFlamme (It’s a Beautiful Day) and the Grateful Dead’s Tom Constante. Big Brother carries on today with original members Peter Albin and Dave Getz, with Tom Finch and Tommy Odetto playing outstanding guitar. Darby Gould (Jefferson Starship) fronts the band, singing all of the classic material made famous by Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company.
• Leo “Bud” Welch was born in Sabougla, Miss. in 1932. Bud picked up a guitar for the first time in 1945. By 1947 at age 15, he played well enough to perform publically and garnered the blessing of many elder guitar players. Welch was offered an audition by B.B. King but could not afford the trip to Memphis. He remained under the radar for 65 years, undetected by the vast majority of blues aficionados. Welch’s debut album, Sabougla Voices, was released in 2014 on Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess label, just two months before his 82nd birthday. The follow up, I Don’t Prefer No Blues, was released on March 24 of this year, receiving notices in The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrate their 22nd anniversary with a first-ever Simi appearance. The band co-founded by Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren made their debut in their hometown of Ventura, Calif. in April of 1993, helping to usher in the swing revival founded on a colorful fusion of classic American sounds including jazz, swing, and Dixieland mixed with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture. Having secured their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world — in the middle of the grunge era, no less — that it was still cool to swing, big-band style. Today the high-energy nine-piece ensemble continues the party and takes things to the next level with the release of Rattle Them Bones, which still urges their millions of fans worldwide to shake and move to their inimitable grooves.
• Guitar Shorty, a.k.a. David Kearney, was born in Houston in 1939, raised in Kissimee, Fla., and now makes his home in Los Angeles. Over the years he’s played behind T-Bone Walker, Willie Dixon, Guitar Slim, Big Joe Turner, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and fellow Simi Valley Festival performer Swamp Dogg. His recent albums on Evidence and Alligator albums attest to the high energy level of this survivor of blues’ classic era. Texas Music Magazine writer John Morthland summed things up perfectly: “Axebuster extraordinaire Guitar Shorty is an old-school guitar showman. He plays with technique and flash, without ever sacrificing the passion. He’s a blues-rock hero.”
• Reverend Tall Tree plays original blues and American roots music in the tradition of Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, and others. His debut album was recently released on Nine Yards Records. In addition to his own headlining tours, Reverend Tall Tree has opened worldwide shows and tours for such artists as B.B. King, Al Green, Toots and the Maytals, Seal, Aaron Neville, Beth Hart, Robert Cray, Blues Traveler and Jamie Cullum. His music has been heard in numerous films including Soul Men and the Academy Award-winning motion picture Crash and has been licensed by such TV shows as True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Single Ladies, Eli Stone, In Plain Sight, Dawson’s Creek and Army Wives.
Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers have been rated one of the “Top 100 Reasons to Visit Louisiana.” Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high-energy style that blazes a new path for 21st century Zydeco music. Dopsie and the Hellraisers have played throughout the world since Dwayne debuted the band at age 19. First appearing at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in 2014, Dopsie’s set was such a big hit that he’ll return in 2015 and will on both the Cajun/Zydeco and blues stages.
• Terrance Simien has been performing Zydeco music for more than 30 years, and is a two-time Grammy winner and eighth generation Louisiana Creole. Leading his Zydeco Experience band, Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. Last year marked their 28th consecutive appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, an event that is the gold standard for showcasing and celebrating all Louisiana music traditions.
• Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic: Thierry’s French Creole heritage is deeply rooted in Louisiana although he was born and reared in Northern California. Thierry and Zydeco Magic won the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame award for Best Zydeco Group in 2008. The 33-year-old is a multi-dimensional musician who has a finely honed ability to merge traditional Zydeco music with hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock. Building from his love and respect for traditional Zydeco, his original music is a blend of old and new.
• Ruben Moreno, making his debut on the Cajun/Zydeco stage, was born in Houston and was immersed in Zydeco music and culture from day one while living in the same building as his grandmother’s bar, Henry’s Lounge. He literally fell asleep each night listening to Clifton Chenier blare out of the jukebox on the other side of the wall. He developed his musical style while playing and touring with C.J. Chenier and Leroy Thomas. And it was Andre Thierry, also performing at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival, who guided him to his love of the accordion in the summer of 2009.
The Magnolia Sisters are a band of women who can play the whole gamut of musical styles from southwest Louisiana: Cajun, Creole, dancehall favorites, and front porch ballads. They each switch from one instrument to another during their shows. They are also an ideal band for seated concerts because, in addition to their vast dancehall repertoire, they tell stories, sing rich harmonies on a cappella ballads, and play string band numbers from the 1930s. Much of the Magnolia Sisters’ music has been gleaned from long-buried Cajun music jewels. Their most recent album, Stripped Down on Arhoolie Records, was nominated for a Grammy in 2010.
• Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble: Curley Taylor’s bluesy, soulful vocals and the band’s hard driving Zydeco beat blend to create high-energy dance music for all audiences. Curley’s music is true to its roots in Zydeco and blues, but contemporary enough to appeal to a broad range of music lovers. When at home in Louisiana, Curley can be found in the studio working on his latest album, or playing in one of the local clubs around the Lafayette/Opelousas area to the delight of his hometown fans.
• Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys: One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffrey Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He began his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard & the Lawtell Playboys, then moved on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force, and now returns to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys.
Once again the blues stage is booked by Martin Fleischmann and his company, Rum & Humble. For more than 20 years Rum & Humble has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s most celebrated musical talent (Radiohead, Manu Chao, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few) to Los Angeles audiences, in venues ranging from the Echoplex to the Orpheum Theatre to the Hollywood Bowl. The company has co-produced the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series since 2011. In addition, Rum & Humble has collaborated closely and creatively with artists such as Jackson Browne and Paul Oakenfold as well as with a varied roster of corporate and non-profit clients ranging from KJAZZ Radio to the Conga Room nightclub to the National Geographic Society.
The festival has received national press accolades: “Everywhere you turned, there was something exciting happening. Put this on your 2013 festival calendar,” wrote Blue Revue editor Art Tipaldi, who made the trek from New England. The Blues Blast writer enthused, “I attend many venues and festivals throughout the year but the ones that seem to impress me the most are the ones that serve the community in some way. I highly recommend you put this on your calendar for next Memorial Day weekend.” And the music industry trade journal Hits added, “As the last strains of [Candye] Kane’s set rang in our ears, we left the grounds fully sated by music, food, drink and, as the saying goes, bon temps.”
The festival boasts dozens of food booths featuring a variety of fare: authentic Cajun creations and Southern BBQ as well as multi-cultural cuisine. More than 100 craft booths and retailers will be scattered throughout the festival grounds.
Tickets may be obtained online at
Support of the not-for-profit Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival has benefited dozens of local community, national and international organizations, a list of which may be found at
Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival web site: 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Don't Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions Out May 26

Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions

Produced by Tom Hambridge and Blessed by FAME founder Rick Hall
Cyril Neville’s Royal Southern Brotherhood Eyes May 26th
For 3rd Studio Album

“They are not a band – they are an extravaganza” – John Hiatt

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Records recording group, Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) preps for their much anticipated third studio album, Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions for release on May 26th.
This album was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios (est. 1960 - Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding) in Muscle Shoals, AL with Grammy award-winning producer Tom Hambridge and the band’s new guitar line up as Cyril Neville leads the charge forward.

Don’t Look Back is a spiritual journey that only Cyril Neville can lead. The elite percussionist’s experiences combined with these talented, energetic players create a new sound that remains reverent to the blues traditions. This highlights the magic that happens when great songs are performed by great bands.

The magic of FAME 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. 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, it is believed the flowing waters sounded like a woman singing. The time in the rented 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, to breathe new energy into the band's sound. The new blood is there to help the venerable Cyril Neville on percussion and vocals with the thunderous rhythm section of Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton to up the funk while maintaining the blues and rock that has brought Royal Southern Brotherhood a growing, worldwide audience.

The constant touring and recording has paid off: in 2014, the band won a Blues Music Award for BEST DVD for Songs From The Road – Live In Germany. This year they are nominated for BEST ROCK BLUES CD for their sophomore effort, heartsoulblood and that will be decided in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards held in May.

Songs like “Big Greasy” recalls old school funk and Go-Go music, a sparse “Anchor Me” is a tender love ballad while the Neville autobiographical “Hell or High Water” is filled with the showman’s life and its struggles. The banjo-tinged title track, “Don’t Look Back” which is sung by Bart, brings in a country texture to give it a traveling feel.

Listen to a sneak peek of three songs: RSB - 3 Song Teaser

All these great songs 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. Hambridge was so mesmerized by the quintet’s cohesiveness he didn’t want to touch a thing but the record button. The other cats on tape are Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville on keyboards/organ and legendary Jimmy Hall on harp scattered about adding flare to the tunes.

Bart Walker, with his tinted glasses and curly hair, has a powerhouse voice that cuts through the music.  Classically trained as a formal opera singer, Walker hails from the Nashville area and he spent time in both Mike Farris from The Screamin’ Cheetah Willies and Reese Wynans (and old SRV bandmate) musical outfits. His 2013 release, Waiting On Daylight, garnered both national and international acclaim. This attention gave Bart the cache to see a lot of the world via Ruf Records President’s, Blues Caravan Tour, which spotlights new talent to sizable audiences. Now a seasoned player, Walker was ready and able to join the Brotherhood. “Joining RSB was the best idea anyone had for me,” said the affable Walker.

This was Tyrone Vaughan’s 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. Tyrone cut his own path by working his way up through the Austin (a town drenched in guitar heroes for the uninitiated) club scene in his teens, eventually packing clubs around Texas. Through hard work, studying the masters and a tip or two from the family, Tyrone has developed a soulful voice along with a guitar tone that mixes blues, rock and country.

As for the 65-year-old Neville, a world-renowned percussionist has long been considered New Orleans royalty for his stints in the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers, Galactic and The Meters.  Neville’s career has spawned 45 some odd years and has included performances with music icons such as Bono, Joan Baez, Dr. John and Tab Benoit. His philosophical beliefs and activist voice blend effortlessly when Cyril sits down to write. His intuition to the world and people are reflected within his soulful singing voice which creates a magnetic force between the listener and him.

In 1989, Cyril penned “Sister Rosa,” about the Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks. USA Today honored Neville by choosing the song as one of the  most inspirational song about Martin Luther King’s, “I Have A Dream,” speech on the 50th anniversary of the historical oration given during the march on Washington (Parks was in attendance). “Sister Rosa” may not have had a change on the movement at the time, but Neville’s composition reminded a country of the thousands of souls that risked their lives to bring an end to a shameful tradition in the U.S.

This past year, Cyril found himself being interviewed by another drummer, Dave Grohl, of the Foo Fighters, for the “Sonic Highways” documentary on HBO. This eight-part series that followed the Foo Fighters around to various US cities, capturing the music scene and history that is unique to that city. Grohl, who directed the series, interviewed other Nawlins luminaries Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews to gain an understanding of the Crescent City’s unique musical sound.

Cyril will lead the charge into the next Royal Southern Brotherhood crusade with this new album, Don’t Look Back with eyes narrowed. And just like John Hiatt says, “They are not a band, they are an extravaganza!” A sound and sight event of pure talent mixed in with love for their art, the music and their fans, the Loyal Royals.

The band will be in full touring mode throughout the year with radio and media campaign behind them.
Please see their website for further information:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Royal Southern Brotherhood Takes the Sonic Highway to Muscle Shoals' FAME Studios

Royal Southern Brotherhood
Takes the Sonic Highway to Muscle Shoals’
FAME Studios
With New Guitarists
Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan

ATLANTA, GA - Ruf Recording artists, Royal Southern Brotherhood, are raising the ante as they roll into the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The band has added fiery guitar slingers Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan to breathe new energy into their third studio release. 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 that has brought Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) a growing, worldwide audience.

Click on photo to watch footage from the new line up!

The Brotherhood has toured incessantly over the last four years, canvassing the USA, Europe and Australia. The hard work paid off as RSB watched their fan base and notoriety swell. 2014 also saw RSB win a Blues Music Award for their live DVD, Songs From The Road.
Royal Southern Brotherhood has also been fortunate to have NOLA legend, Cyril Neville, featured in an episode of HBO’s “Sonic Highways” series. This is an 8-episode show that follows the Foo Fighters as they visit different towns they consider to be musically unique and important. Neville was a natural and charismatic fit to talk with Dave Grohl about the New Orleans sound. Their shared love of percussion and rhythms creates a chemistry that serves the show well.

Cyril provided some unique insight and stories about growing up in New Orleans along with Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, telling Dave how Troy got his nickname. Neville detailed how Troy began playing at such a young age that the T-bone was actually taller than Troy. Although he is now a grown man, the nickname “Trombone Shorty” has stayed with him.

With this new spotlight on Cyril, he has been a part of the show’s promotional efforts, by being mentioned in the band’s interviews that have been taken to an international level, CNN, Rolling Stone, Anderson Cooper, CBS’ “60 Minutes”, etc. Dave Grohl has claimed Cyril Neville and NOLA to be his new crush.

As RSB began the task of recording their new CD, they knew they needed a historical, creative location to raise the bar. Choosing FAME was a no-brainer. The studio is located along the Tennessee River in Muscle Shoals, which may seem like a quiet, southern town, but it’s a lightning rod for creativity.
In 1960, FAME Studios opened its doors under the direction of Rick Hall. It wasn’t long before Rick had developed a talented and unique group of session players (and production staff). The sound these boys from northern Alabama created drew the attention of artists such as Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Drive-By Truckers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon and Duane Allman. It’s been told, that Eric Clapton, wanted to know who was that playing on “Hey Jude”, by Pickett and that’s how he found ‘Sky Dog' (Duane Allman). The place oozes with musical history, vibe and creative juice that will energize RSB’s new endeavor.

Recently, RSB went into a local New Orleans studio to record some demos and work on the vital band chemistry with the new members, guitarists Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan. Bart and Tyrone fell into the Brotherhood quickly and added a spark that only change can bring. The results exceeded expectations.

Tyrone hails from blues royalty. When your father is Jimmie Vaughan and your uncle is the vaunted Stevie Ray (who gave Tyrone his first guitar at 5), it can be a blessing and a curse. A lot is expected from Tyrone before he hits the stage, so it takes courage to follow in the family business. Fortunately, Tyrone is unaffected by the adulation for his family, and developed his own gifted style and signature tone. Tyrone cut his own path by working his way up through the Austin (a town drenched in guitar heroes for the uninitiated) club scene in his teens, eventually packing clubs around Texas. Through hard work, studying the masters and a tip or two from the family, Tyrone has developed a soulful voice along with a guitar tone that mixes blues, rock and country. Tyrone’s description of, “in your face,” tone proves accurate when you hear him cut through any mix.

Bart Walker brings his own unique talents to RSB. As a Nashville native, it was natural for Bart to be affected by the country, bluegrass and gospel music that permeates the air. Bart, however, wanted more. Classically trained, Walker considered an offer to join a German opera company. However, his curiosity kept him searching for new music.

One day Bart wandered into a blues jam and realized he found his calling. Bart paid his dues playing in Mike Farris’ (Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies) and Reese Wynan’s (Stevie Ray Vaughan) bands before landing his own deal with Ruf Records. His 2013 release, Waiting On Daylight, garnered both national and international acclaim. This attention gave Bart the cache to see a lot of the world via Ruf Records President’s, Blues Caravan Tour, which spotlights new talent to sizable audiences. Now a seasoned player, Walker was ready and able to join the Brotherhood. “Joining RSB was the best idea anyone had for me,” said the affable Walker.

Cyril Neville has long been considered New Orleans royalty for his stints in the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers, Galactic and The Meters. The Meters opened for the Rolling Stones and have been on the voting ballot twice for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Neville’s career has spawned 45 some odd years and has included performances with music icons such as Bono, Joan Baez, Dr. John and Tab Benoit.

In 1989, Cyril penned, “Sister Rosa,” about the Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks. Last year, USA Today honored Neville by choosing the song as one of the  most inspirational song about Martin Luther King’s, “I Have A Dream,” speech on the 50th anniversary of the historical oration given during the march on Washington (Parks was in attendance). “Sister Rosa” may not have had a change on the movement at the time, but Neville’s composition reminded a country of the thousands of souls that risked their lives to bring an end to a shameful tradition in the US.

The current line-up will hit the stage with Cyril Neville (of course) on vocals and percussion, Devon Allman and Bart Walker on vocals/guitars, and Yonrico Scott (drums) and Charlie Wooton playing bass. Many consider Scott and Wooton to be the best rhythm section working, and their skills have provided the foundation for RSB to up the funk. The band is still supporting their latest release, heartsoulblood” with dates throughout the winter and early spring months.

When the Brotherhood’s original guitarists, Mike Zito and Devon Allman decided to concentrate on their solo careers, the parting was amicable and most likely both Zito and Allman will join RSB on stage occasionally. This is because RSB is truly a brotherhood of like-minded musicians that love to work together. Some of the players may rotate (Cyril, however will always steer the ship) but the spirit is the same: write great songs and see where they take you. The chemistry, craftsmanship and artistry of the musicians will always ensure great music.

Devon’s last performance with RSB will be at the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, Florida. The show will take place in mid-April, so we ask you to still use the following photo for tour press coverage.
For information on the band’s tour dates and news, go to

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Royal Southern Brotherhood - HeartSoulBlood

I just received the newest release, HeartSoulBlood from Royal Southern Brotherhood and it's smooth! Opening with World Blues, a swampy, funky rocker with underlying hot slide and guitar work from Mike Zito and Devon Allman. Cyril Neville adds a super percussion track giving the track tht extra spark. Rock And Roll is a classic rocker with driving guitar riffs and drum work by Yonrico Scott. Groove On has a jazzy feel and hints of Steely Dan. Warm vocal harmonies and a distinctive rhythm are the keys to this track. Nice twin guitar leads to cap the track add a bit of bite. Here It Is is built over a cool funky bass riff from Charlie Wooton. A very funky jam track to get you moving. Callous has a slow slinky bluesy feel and is likely my favorite track on the release. A romping bass line and raw guitar soloing really make this a standout track. Lead vocals on this track are also particularly effective. Ritual had a grinding rhythm guitar part and actually reminds me a bit of Joe Walsh with a metallic edge. A cool track for radio play with a good melody and just enough edge. Shoulda Known is a very well composed R&B style track. I particularly like the vocals on this track and think that it could be the gem of the release. Let's Ride has components of soul and metal but an overriding feel of southern funky rock... funky Lynyrd Skynyrd with vocal harmonies. Cool! Trapped takes a more laid back shot at rock with sonic guitar riffs added over a easy funk rhythm. She's My Lady oozes soul. Keeping the instrumental backing light the vocals are king on this track and nicely executed. Takes A Village features supple vocal lead over light percussion and vocal like slide work. Very nice! Wrapping the release is a jagged tempo intro leading into anthem like, Love And Peace. Cool stagger step rhythms breaking the uniformity of the chant like melody creates a nice duality to the track and dualing guitar leads with Zito and Allman make this another release favorite. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Reunion Party Weekend 35 Years In The Making!



KANSAS CITY (April 24, 2014) – The hottest ticket in the Blues, The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, which sails on the high seas twice a year, is hosting their Annual Cruiser Reunion shows for 3 nights this year. Based in Kansas City, the LRBC is the brainchild of Roger Naber, (former co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue) who is also celebrating 35 years as a music promoter in tandem with the music on stage. With the next two sold-out upcoming LRBC's, Kansas City music fans will have an opportunity to see six varied internationally famous acts at the well known and respected Knuckleheads honkey-tonk venue.
Performing over the 3 day Memorial Day weekend soiree, May 23, 24 & 25, will be Blues Hall of Famer, Otis Clay and his 10 piece band, Royal Southern Brotherhood, an all-star band which includes music royalty names such as Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, Alligator recording artist, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Ronnie Baker Brooks, more blues royalty and a cruiser favorite, pianist Eden Brent, three-times Blues Music Award recipient, plus English guitar slinger, Joanne Shaw Taylor. One of the announced Special Guests who will be in Kansas City for the entire weekend will be pianist Leon Blue, who performed with the legendary Albert King 35 years ago for Naber's first Uptown Theater promotion.
To wrap up the weekend, there will be a Free Cabin For Two drawing, for the October 24-31, 2015 LRBC # 25, which will sail on the Holland America ms Westerdam from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The winning ticket will be drawn just before the final performance on Sunday night. One does not need to be present as any person who attends any of the 3 nights of the Anniversary Reunion will be have a chance to win the prize.


roger naberRoger Naber's 35 Year Anniversary as a music promoter is considered quite a milestone for what began simply as a passion for American Blues Music. In Kansas City, Roger is mostly known as the co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue from 1985-2004. During his 20 year run as booking proprietor, he featured live music 6-7 nights a week at the well established venue.
Blues giants such as John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Koko Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray performed, plus the newer generation, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang and Joe Bonamassa. Jazz, reggae and rock musicians such as Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, Chick Corea, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Mathews, Wilco, Flaming Lips, and The Wallflowers also had their turn at the midtown venue. The Grand Emporium twice received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award as "Best Blues Nightclub." The Grand Emporium musician and poster archives can still be seen at the UMKC Marr Sound Archives, UMKC Miller Nichols LIbrary, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110 or online at
A pioneering entrepreneur, Naber co-founded the KC Blues Society in 1980, while serving as President for 13 years, the KCBS was honored with a Keeping The Blues Alive Award as best non-profit by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He co-founded the Kansas City Blues Festival in 1981, the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival in 1990, and promoted the city's Annual Thanksgiving Blues Breakfast Dance for more than 20 years.
Taking to the ocean and sands, Naber co-founded the Ultimate Rhythm & Blues Cruise 1992 with his Grand Emporium partners, and more recently, the Blues Industry's highly popular and successful Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises ( in 2001. Naber was again awarded "Promoter of the Year" by the Blues Foundation for the LRBC in 2005. In 2003, he became a founding partner in Cloud 9 Adventures, which promotes the Jam Cruises, Holy Ship and various international land music events.
Today there are many music cruises sailing the high seas in the wake of the original Blues Cruise Charter Naber and his partners sailed in 1992.
blues cruise
Roger has been a tireless worker for the blues industries non-profits. Most recently, the LRBC has raised in excess of $300,000 for the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis which is becoming a reality this summer across the street from the Civil Rights Museum. In total, the cruises have raised in excess of $600,000 for various non-profits' needs.
After 35 years in the business, Naber still maintains that "it's all about the music" and spends the cruise off-season scouting talent and promoting upcoming cruises at land festivals nationwide.


Friday, May 23rd:
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Royal Southern Brotherhood
is an American blues and blues rock supergroup, consisting of singer and percussionist Cyril Neville, from the famed iconic Neville Brothers Band, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Mike Zito, drummer Yonrico Scott, formerly of Derek Trucks Band whose recording career looks like a Who's who, and bassist Charlie Wooton, also of Bonerama and his own band Charlie Wooten Project.
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor
, raised in England and discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurithmics, Joanne has won numerous awards in England and now has released 4 album CDs on Germany's RUF Records. Joanne is making her first KC appearance just coming off a tour of Australia performing at the acclaimed Byron Bay Blues Festival. A powerful blues rocker not to be missed.
Saturday, May 24th:
Otis Clay
Otis Clay
is an American treasure, having been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this past year. He's one of a handful of Deep Soul singers who still command the Hi Records Memphis sound, much in the vein of Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. His song "Trying To Live My Life Without You" was one of Bob Seger's bigger hits. Otis brings a 10-piece group of horns, keys and backup singers.
Rick Estrin
Kicking off the show will be Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, one of blues most colorful frontmen. Rick ranks up as one of the world's premier harmonica players, song writers and frontmen in the blues world having won the BMA in 2013 in the harmonica category. Rick and the San Francisco based band recorded and videotaped a homage underground track to the LRBC simply titled, "I Met Her On The Blues Cruise".
Sunday, May 25th:
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Ronnie Baker Brooks
will be showcasing his new 7-piece band which he is bringing to the West Coast cruise in October. The son of Blues Hall of Famer, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie also has Rodd Bland, son of the late Bobby Bland, on drums. Carrying o the torch of the masters, Ronnie and the full band have a new CD due for release this year.

Multiple Blues Music Award Winner and LRBC Piano Bar favorite, Eden Brent brings her band as she is touring in support of her latest CD, "Jigsaw Heart". Little Boogaloo as she is known to her Mississippi music fans carries on the deep style of the Boogaloo tradition she learned first hand.

How to obtain tickets and lodging:

Tickets are only $50 per person for a 3 Day Pass!

Click to purchase your 3-Day Pass direct from the venue

Specific show tickets are also available @ $20/night in Advance or $25/night at the Door

A downtown host hotel has been pre-arranged for those traveling with
a limited number of hotels rooms still available until May 2nd!

Aladdin Holiday Inn, 1215 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO 64105
Reservations: 866-270-9274 and reference "LRBC Blues Cruise Reunion" or visit this link

2715 Rochester • Kansas City MO, 64120
(816) 483-1456 / (816) 483-6407
Voted KC's Best Live Music Venue 9 years running

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For information or further press inquiries:
Contact LeAnne Clay: (816) 753-7979 or

A special thank you to Cruiser Reunion Party Weekend sponsor, Holland America Line!

313 Lawrence Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64111 • 816-753-7979 • 888-Bluesin' •

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mark Pucci Media Congratulates All Our Artists Receiving Nominations for the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards

Traditional Blues Album
•  Doug MacLeod - There's A Time
Blues Rock Album
•  Albert Castiglia - Living The Dream
 Royal Southern Brotherhood - Royal Southern Brotherhood
Soul Blues Album
•  Barbara Carr - Keep The Fire Burning
 Johnny Rawls - Soul Survivor
•  Mighty Sam McClain - Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)
Song Of The Year
•  “Black Nights” written by Doug MacLeod – There's A Time (Doug MacLeod)
•  “Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey” written by Sam McClain & Pat Herlehy - Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) (Mighty Sam McClain)
Male Blues Artist
Voting Is Open To The Public 
Voting to determine the winners begins July 15, 2013 and continues until August 31st, 2012 at Voting is free and open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. You do not have to be a current subscriber to vote! You are automatically signed up as part of the voting process on our website if you are not currently a subscriber. Blues Blast Magazine subscriptions are FREE! The 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will be held at Buddy Guys’ Legends in Chicago on October 31st, 2013. The awards ceremony will feature music by the artists nominated. Tickets for the event will go on sale in mid-August at