Cyril Neville walks a tightrope line between being very well known as a Neville Brother, a founding member of VOW (Voice of the Wetlands), and one of the original Meters, and at the same time it seems as if he is often overlooked as a valued musician in town. He is a strong vocalist and percussion player and is an in demand player on discs from those out of town such as Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson. Cyril's interests in music are an eclectic batch and range all over the map; this is not a detriment because what he focuses on he attacks with a single point and does it well. Magic Honey is an album that is a true gumbo, made of the diverse ingredients of soul, funk, rock and world music focusing on the music that Royal Southern Brotherhood is playing, a fusion of Blues and Southern Rock & Roll, which is not a surprise as Neville is one of the founders of that group along with Mike Zito, and Devon Allman.
He had a hand in writing or co-writing seven of the twelve songs on the disc, and the others are written or co-written by a few other musicians whose names you may/should know like Mac Rebennack, Paul Butterfield, Henry Glover and Warren Haynes. The band is top shelf with Cranston Clements on guitar, "Mean" Willie Green on drums, Carl Dufrene on bass, Norman Caesar on keys, and Cyril on percussion and lead vocals. Then there are the musicians that play on a cut or 2 and you have such as Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Walter Trout, Mike Zito, David Z (also the producer), and Cyril's wife and son Gaynielle & Omari Neville. His impassioned singing is perfect because many of the songs are political, or have a message about the class divides in this society, haves and wants of have. One of the strongest, and most accessible albums to come from this artist in a long time.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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