The Royal Southern Brotherhood, a group of blues-rock musicians led by an Allman and a Neville, is coming to Willow Creek Winery on Thursday, Aug. 2, to provide what audiences are calling "a new breed of blues-rock."
The band consists of Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, and founder of Devon Allman's Honeytribe; Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers and the Meters; Blues Music Award winner Mike Zito; Yonrico Scott, drummer for Derek Trucks Band; and bassist Charlie Wooten, known for his work with the Woods Brothers and his band Zydefunk.
"My manager manages myself, Mike Zito and Cyril Neville," said Allman. "And, he wondered why the Allman brothers and Neville brothers never toured or jammed together. So, he figured we got an Allman and a Neville here so lets see what can happen."
The Royal Southern Brotherhood will perform at the Willow Creek Winery on Thursday, Aug. 2. The band includes Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, and Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers.
The result was unbelievable, according to Allman. Once they got together to jam and record it turned into something that was more than looking good on paper.
"This is the real thing, and there is a lot of chemistry here," he continued. "We've done around 60 shows so far, and I can't believe the sizes of the crowds that are coming out - we're packing places."
While performing live, Allman enjoys performing each individual song on the set list, he said.
"I truly like them all," said Allman. "But, we've been doing this twin guitar lead at the end of our cover of 'Fire on the Mountain' which has been getting pretty epic - so that one's been cool. And, there is a huge sing-a-long in a section of 'Sweet Jelly Donut.'"
The group's debut, self-titled album has been on the Billboard Blues Chart for two months. The album peaked at No. 5 and is now residing at No. 10. According to Allman, the name of the album and the band came while collaborating with one another.
"Once we all started to hang out the name 'Brotherhood' made sense because we got along instantly," said Allman. "We looked to expand the name. We're from the south, and people always say that Cyril and I are from royal bloodlines."
The album was produced by Grammy-award winner Jim Gaines, who is known for his work on projects with Steve Miller Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana and Huey Lewis and the News.
"He is a legend, man," said Allman. "He is a sweetheart, and like the head coach you always wanted on your football team - the one who believes in you and pushes you to greatness. Working with him was invaluable."
In an album teaser on the band's official website, royalsouthernbrotherhood.com, the video opens with the line: "Real music is not dead." According to Allman, the description couldn't be more accurate.
"I think there's a lot of homogenized (stuff) out there," said Allman. "We do the old-school stuff not to say it's better; it's just this is the real stuff. It's like the difference between fast food and a gourmet meal; Royal Southern Brotherhood is a gourmet meal. We're going to give you every bit of our heart and of our soul in every performance and every song we do - like our heroes did."
One of those heroes is The Grateful Dead, which as a result, led to the cover of "Fire on the Mountain."
"Cyril and I had played it in previous bands," said Allman. "I thought his vocal on it was absolutely stellar, and that we'd make a lot of people happy by reinventing that song to put it on the record."
Also in the teaser, Neville describes the band as offering a "funky, spiritual, special" sound. Allman agreed, stating that he believes it's a positive thing that a lot of the lyrics lend themselves to a spiritual place. And, that people calling the band a "new breed of blues-rock" is a good description of the band's direction.
"I don't think we're reinventing the wheel," he said. "This is a genre that's been around a long time. I think if anything we're helping keep it alive."
With all the success the band has found thus far, Allman is looking forward to the rest of the tour, the release of a live DVD in the spring and making a second record.
"Everyone's psyched for doing a second album, and we're already writing songs for it," said Allman. "We're holding back from playing future songs for now, but we do have a few surprises (at live performances) that aren't on the recent album."
In addition to Royal Southern Brotherhood, the Willow Creek Winery performance will also feature special guests Dive House Union and Mick Hayes Band. The gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets to the show are $15 in advance and $17.50 at the door.
Willow Creek Winery is located at 2627 Chapin Road in Silver Creek. For more information visit willowcreekwines.net or call 934-9463.