The North Atlantic Blues Festival kicked off Saturday, July 14 with a stellar lineup that ran the gamete of the Blues, from the country blues act of Dave Keller and Mark Lavoie who played between sets to the jazz/blues sound of Trombone player extraordinary Randy Oxford.
The day was highlighted by the playing of the Royal Southern Brotherhood, a group of modern day legends with deep bloodlines that use their individual talents each possesses without leaning on their musical hierarchy.
Randy Oxford opened the show and got the people excited for the day. Oxford’s trombone playing was exceptional while the rest of the band showed their chops to be right up there with the best. Tight band, wide variety of music and great attention payed to the show and the crowd in attendance.
Albert Castiglia was the second guest on the ticket for the day. Castiglia was first brought to attention of the masses when he played guitar for the late great Jr. Wells. Castiglia’s set was pure electric Saturday. He got the crowd dancing in their chairs and up on the dance floor, set up on the opposite side of the state, appreciating the excellent guitar work that Castiglia displayed along with the solid back beat provided by a drummer and bass player.
The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Cyril Neville, Mike Zito, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooton and drummer Yonrico Scott. These guys just blew away the crowd.
Here is a piece from their on web site http://www.royalsouthernbrotherhood.com/
Mike Zito, Devon Allman, Cyril Neville – The soul of the south. Amplified soul for the new generation
Before they even hit a chord, The Royal Southern Brotherhood have your attention. In the US South, where music is religion, two rock ‘n’ roll bloodlines tower above all others. In the saloon bars from Mississippi to Maryland, mere mention of the Allman and Neville Brothers casts a magic spell. Conversation falls silent. Pool balls stop rolling. Ten-gallon hats are tipped in respect and beer-bottles raised in salute. These aren’t just bands, they’re gods, and with a lineup comprising both the iconic Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, The Royal Southern Brotherhood come pre-loaded with expectations. Don’t worry: they can match them. The family tree might be auspicious, but this new band trades on talent, not genealogy. It’s not about rock history: it’s about the here-and-now.
This lineup has talent to burn. You’ll already know Cyril Neville: poet, philosopher, percussion master and perhaps the South’s last great soul singer. Devon Allman. As the son of Gregg Allman, the 39-year-old has rock ‘n’ roll in his DNA, but he’s always walked his own path. Mike Zito: the blues ace whose ear for melody provides the counterpoint to his wingman’s rocking tendencies. Nominated in 2011 for the Blues Music Foundation’s ‘Best Blues Rock’ award, and winner of 2010′s Blues Music Award. Bassist Charlie Wooten and drummer Yonrico Scott: both heavyweight names in their own right, with Charlie’s bass chops celebrated on the Southern jam scene for his sets with the Woods Brothers, and Yonrico hitting the skins for luminaries including the Derek Trucks Band, Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers themselves.
They said that rock ‘n’ roll was dead, but they were wrong. Right now, in 2012, there’s something in the air, as The Royal Southern Brotherhood drag their thrilling new brand of blues-rock and white-hot musicianship from the Southern States onto the world stage. The South is rising again. Come along for the ride.
Watching this band brought back some great memories from a childhood raised on the music of these gentleman’s parents and siblings. Allman, looks just like his dad and plays with the same intensity, while still being a complete individual.
The rest of the day was acts I had seen before, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, Tribute to Koko Taylor featuring Nora Jean Wallace, Melvia “Chick” Rogers and Jackie Scott and Tab Benoit, so because of the heat I left for the day but will be returning Sunday to capture some of the great lineup on tap.
Sunday’s line up consists of Charlie A´Court, Anthony Gomes, Ana Popovic, John Mayall and Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. Sunday’s music kicks off at 11 am.
The North Atlantic Blues Festival is promoted by Paul Benjamin and Jamie Isaacson. This is the 19th annual festival with many more planned for the future.