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Album Review: Royal Southern Brotherhood - "Royal Southern Brotherhood"

Royal Southern Brotherhood Royal Southern Brotherhood Ruf Records What a cool union! Two musical lineages intertwine in RSB, a new quintet headed by the mighty Cyril Neville. As a member

Royal Southern Brotherhood
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Ruf Records


What a cool union! Two musical lineages intertwine in RSB, a new quintet headed by the mighty Cyril Neville. As a member of The Meters and Neville Brothers, the Grammy-winning vocalist and percussionist helped pioneer New Orleans funk, and at 63, he’s still a force of nature. Les Paul-wielding Devon Allman, whose dad is Gregg Allman, represents the other, equally potent bloodline.

Allman and blues-rocker Mike Zito trade fiery leads and sweaty riffs throughout the 12-song set, and their contrasting Gibson and Fender tones are a treat for anyone who has OD’d on mushy, high-gain guitar sounds. Producer Jim Gaines (SRV, Steve Miller, Santana, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker) deserves credit for this, but ultimately it’s Allman and Zito—and their road-honed sonic sensibilities— that make this such a satisfying tonefest. Allman’s leads are rich and flutey, while Zito delivers crisp twang, shimmering chime, and biting slide. The songs are cool, the lead and harmony vocals spectacular, and the grooves are steeped in mojo, thanks to how drummer Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band) and Neville lock down the one. If you like your soul with attitude, jump on the RSB bus. —Andy Ellis

Must-hear track: “All Around the World”

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.


Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

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U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.

$2,029

PRS S2 Vela
prsguitars.com

4.5
5
5
4.5

Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

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A Gibson Explorer (left) and a Dean Z model.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to appeal an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that Gibson says infringed on its iconic body shapes.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to re-try an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that allegedly infringed on longtime Gibson body shapes, including Dean’s V and Z Series instruments, according to a report in Bloomberg Law published on Tuesday.

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Slash's Blues Ball Band Rig Rundown
Rig Rundown: Slash's Blues Ball Band with Tash Neal

The rock ’n’ roll icon brings his blues-rockin’ Orgy of The Damned to the people headlining the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Blues Festival tour.

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