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Early this year I had the pleasure once again of doing the marketing and promo photoshoot for the Royal Southern Brotherhood at the Legendary Muscle Shoals Fame Recording Studio. What an incredible place , the history, the music, the gold records, the sound, the water,........ahhhh, if the walls could talk.......but if you listen closely they do whisper..........
“I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin. “Land of 1,000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett. “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones. “I’ll Take You There” by the Staples Singers. “Love Me Like a Rock” by Paul Simon. What do these songs all have in common? Well, they’ve all got a good beat and you can dance to them, and they were all recorded between 1965 and 1973 in the tiny Tennessee River town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.” Others included Rolling stones, Rod Stewart, Elton John, The Allman Brothers, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Cliff, Traffic,Leon Russell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Percy Sledge, Millie Jackson, Rod Stewart, Etta James, Little Richard and on and on........They all were looking for and helped to create the “Muscle Shoals Sound”.........and now the Royal Southern Brotherhood, Cyril Neville, Yonrico Scott, Charlie Wooten and new guitar lineup Bart Walker, and Tyrone Vaughan have descended upon the Legendary Fame Studios directed by Grammy® Award Winning Producer, Songwriter & Solo Artist
Tom Hambridge, producing RSB's 3rd Studio Album “Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions” Some of Tom's credits/clients include Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, ZZ Top, Hank Williams Jr., BB King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Meat Loaf, Rascal Flatts, Johnny Winter, Rodney Atkins, George Thorogood, Keith Anderson, Susan Tedeschi, Van Zant.......Are you starting to get the picture??? And to top it off, the man himself, Fame Recording Studio owner Rick Hall invited us all up to his expansive office on the second floor for a chat about, the recording industry, the way it was and what it has turned into......he also expressed a keen interest in Aaron Neville's music and was noticeably tickled to be talking with the Uptown Ruler himself, Cyril Neville...... The office walls were decorated with dozens of gold records, including Aretha Franklins "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" hovering above my left shoulder.....amazing!! He talked about the magic of the studio and the Muscle Shoals Sound, describing some magical vignettes recording with Aretha Franklin describing something spiritual happening during the recordings, the same thing everyone felt when recording there, and yes, it happened again with RSB and I witnessed it 1st hand. One of the things I look forward to most during RSB's sessions is the truly amazing voice of my friend Cyril Neville. One of the last songs recorded was a track called “Better Half”. We were all in the control room when Tom asked Cyril if he was ready to take a run at “Better Man” to which Cyril obliged....Before he started I told Tom, “I wouldn't be surprised if he nailed it the first time”.......I don't remember anything during the vocal, Cyril's delivery was powerful, transporting this photographer to another dimension.....when the song ended, you could hear a pen drop, silence......smiles...everyone looking back and forth in amazement.....the pro that he is Tom then nonchalantly asked Cyril to take another run at the song from the top, you know just in case.......which he did, and nailed it again......normally that would have been my cue to go out in the room with Cyril to capture his delivery......This time was different, for the first time I made a conscious decision not to shoot this because there was no way to capture what I had just heard and do it justice it deserved. Thats some Muscle Shoals Magic for ya!!!
Cyril Neville’s Royal Southern Brotherhood Eyes May 26th for the release of “Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions” which my ears gotta hold of yesterday for the first time.........I've listened to only twice, but this may be their strongest effort yet, and RSB's debut was a pretty bad ass release......Do yourself a favor and pick up this CD when released, it's a must have in any music connoisseur's collection!! I am sure everyone noticed that there were a couple new member of RSB filling the shoes of my good friends Mike Zito and Devon Allman who are both working on their solo careers, so if either come thru your town don't miss their shows!! Best of luck to you both and hope to see you soon Mike and Devon!!!!
All Rights Reserved ©2005-2015 Jerry Moran Native Orleanian LLC Images and a musical slideshow can be seen at http://www.nativeorleanian.org/royal_southern_brotherhood_record_album_at_legendary_muscle_shoals_january_2015
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