Tres Songs

I’m working on a series about an Important Artist You Will Know. But while I’m researching that, I will play DJ here and spin three tunes for, as usual, your dining and dancing pleasure. You will wind up banging your head but first I’ll lure you into a smooth, funky mood…

Royal Southern Brotherhood is (or was, I can’t figure it out) a band that was formed in New Orleans back in 2011. Original members were singer/percussionist Cyrill Neville (one of the Neville Brothers and part of the great Meters); guitarist Devon Allman (Gregg’s son); blues guitarist Mike Zito; session (and Derek Trucks) drummer Yonrico Scott; and bassist Charlie Wooton who worked with Sonny Landreth among others.

Together this eclectic bunch put together a nice gumbo of southern rock, blues, R&B and that swampy shit you love but which can’t be defined. Said Allman, “It’s like it was meant to be. We’re not really reinventing the wheel here. We’re just making sure it keeps rolling. I think certain fans out there really have an affinity for music based in soul and blues and rock, classic rock, so you really get that with this band.”

By the time the 2016 album The Royal Gospel was released, the only original members were Neville and Scott. (Scott has since passed away.)

Here’s the band doing “Blood is Thicker than Water.” Do that special swaying dance with your lover to this one:

Spotify link

Godsmack (pictured on top of post) are, per their website, the multiplatinum four-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated Boston bastion of hard rock.

Members are Sully Erna [vocals, guitar], Tony Rombola [guitar], Robbie Merrill [bass], and Shannon Larkin [drums]. (They are actually from the hardscrabble working-class town of Lawrence, Mass – ME.) The mayor of Boston declared August 6th Godsmack Day and I 100% guarantee you he doesn’t know if that’s a band or a religious cult. Maybe they’re both.

These guys have been around forever if by forever we mean mid-Nineties. For a band that has zero household name recognition, ignore pop trends and churn out whatever they fucking well want, that’s an eon or two. These guys list themselves as heavy metal, post-grunge, nu-metal, alternative metal, hard rock and probably a few that don’t yet exist.

The band’s primary influences include Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Dan Hill, Pantera, and Rush. Erna has cited Layne Staley as his primary influence.

The creepy but irresistible “Voodoo” was on their demo album and then re-released in 1997 on their eponymous debut. The strange video includes an appearance by a rather well-known witch in these parts, Laurie Cabot of Salem, Mass. (You really should get to Salem some Halloween. A totally fucked-up party.)

Spotify link

I remember when Marilyn Manson came around and thinking, “Oh man. Not another Alice Cooper clone.” My nephew loved them. He was pretty young at the time and boy, his mother had a hell of a time keeping him away. The appeal was largely lost on me. A few good slaps on the back of the head by his uncle accomplished little other than getting me into the music.

But Marilyn was “discovered” by another favorite of my nephew’s, Trent Reznor, who produced their debut album. (I like NIN and am long overdue for a post.)

“The Beautiful People” is a major-league headbanger that always causes me to turn the radio up to 11. And who can argue with the warmth and good-times feel of lyrics like these? Why, {chuckle}, it’s just in time for Christmas cheer!

You can’t see the forest for the trees
You can’t smell your own shit on your knees
There’s no time to discriminate
Hate every motherfucker
That’s in your way

From 1997’s Antichrist Superstar:

Spotify link


8 thoughts on “Tres Songs

  1. That’s an interesting trio of tunes! Royal Southern Brotherhood sounds like they’re up my alley. Less sure about Godsmack. And Marilyn Manson is definitely beyond my comfort zone. 😀


    1. Yes, the metal stuff is not for everyone but sometimes it hits me just right and I can get my freak on. I love both those tunes. RSB is a band I did not spend enough time pursuing. I don’t think I even knew Devon Allman was part of the band.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw man… Godsmack are awful. Sorry. Name taken from a tune off Alice in Chains’ Dirt and that wee sun image on their album was also similar to the one found all over Dirt. Singer lad is definitely a poor man’s Layne Staley. Gah.

    Manson I have some time for. While Antichrist Superstar was never my album, Mechanical Animals is pretty excellent (his two most recent albums worthwhile too).

    I’ll check out more of the Royal Southern Brotherhood lot.


    1. Ha! CB picked up on the phony Dan Hill reference. I figured you’re like the Brotherhood the best. As to the others, you know I like to drop surprises just when everybody thinks they have my tastes figured out. It’s like when CB waxes rhapsodic about jazz and then does a 180 over to some wild Hee Haw, jug-band, hide yer daughter, shit-kickin’, hillbilly shit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You just put that in there to test my reading skills. He’s probably lazing in the sun sucking on a brew and collecting royalties and for sure getting real mellow.
        Keep shaking things up fella..


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