Cahors Blues Festival, in the South of France, happens live outdoor, in a good and friendly ambiance, under a deep heat. At 9 pm, Shemekia Copeland comes on stage for a 1h30 show, with good musicians, even if there's no surprise in this kind of music. She ends her show with no mike and gets a deserved success.
Pictures are allowed, so a lot of photographers are ready, even if the stage is high. Members of the band are taking care of their instruments and everyone arrives quietly on stage. I'm close to Mike Zito, I give him a little Hi and he smiles at me, these guys are very close to their audience.
And it's the beginning of our fourth concert, after New Orleans, Maggia and Paris… Fired Up opens the show and the band is better than ever, Charlie Wooton on bass guitar seems more confident and his partnership with Yonrico Scott is great, this drummer keeping to hit his drum kit, just like the beat of a heart…
In the middle of the stage, hiding his drummer, is Cyril Neville, tall, on percussions or with his mike in his hands. On my left is Devon Allman who, with his long beard looks more and more to his uncle Duane.
He plays heavier on his Gibson, even if he has some technical problems with his amp.
Mike Zito is on my right, no so tall but he seems to be more and more important at each concert. He plays all the slide parts on his Telecaster, and also plays a lot of solos, really great, in a blues style, no so hard than Devon, softer.
They play all their CD titles, with a long version of Grateful Dead's"Fire On The Mountain" with a solo of each guitar player, before an incredible final. We don't get her the long Dead improvisations, but flying solos behind a crazy rhythm !
Around me, the audience seems astonished by such a show, such a musical quality. RSB plays until the end with a real pleasure. Today comes on stage a saxophone player, Jimmy Carpenter "from New Orleans" who plays on Mike Zito's "Gone To Texas", and who gives a deeper sound to the new songs and to the Gimme Shelter cover.
Two hours later, the band is really great, and their shows are better and better. Bass and drums solos are good, not too long and the two guitar parts are really great.
This band is on tour in Europe and comes back in October. They will play at the Royal Albert Hall October the 31st.
Because Royal Southern Brotherhood is the best band in that kind of music. Don't miss them !
By Michel Bertelle (photos and article) and Alain Hiot (photos).
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