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Interview:
An Allman, a Neville and others forge Royal Southern Brotherhood
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

A simple question of "I wonder why the Allman Brothers and Neville brothers didn't do something together" led to the formation of the Royal Southern Brotherhood.

"My manager also manages Cyril Neville," says singer-guitarist Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman, "so when that came up, he was like, 'Well, I've got an Allman and a Neville. Let's write some tunes and see what happens.' "

The result can be heard on the 12-song self-titled debut effort five-piece "supergroup," which also includes blues guitarist Mike Zito -- a friend of Allman's since the two worked at a St. Louis Guitar Center in 1999 - and the well-credentialed rhythm section of bassist Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott. Zito and Neville had already worked together, winning a Blues Music Award for the 2009 song "Pearl River," and when Allman came into the mix during March of 2001, writing with Neville via e.mail, "it just clicked. It felt right, immediately. I mean, we got this record out 14 months after that first e.mail; that tells you how good it was right there."

Allman, 36, has no hesitation in calling RSB a going concern, possibly making a second album later this year to release during the spring of 2013.

"I think when we first started we thought, 'Oh, this'll be nice. When we have time away from the solo careers we'll get together and do this.' It was a kind of a secondary thing," Allman says. "But once we made the record and hit the road, that dynamic flipped. This has become the main thing, and when there's time to be taken off of this, then we'll do the solo stuff. That's how powerful this (band) is."

Royal Southern Brotherhood performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $35 and $25. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: atcallahans.com

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