Cyril Neville review…September 28, 2013…

CYRIL NEVILLE

MAGIC HONEY

RUF RECORDS  1192

MAGIC HONEY–SWAMP FUNK–SOMETHING’S GOT A HOLD ON ME–ANOTHER MAN–STILL GOING DOWN TODAY–YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE–INVISIBLE–BLUES IS THE TRUTH–RUNNING WATER–WORKING MAN–MONEY AND OIL–SLOW MOTION

Cyril Neville is one of the legendary Neville Brothers, a name synonymous with great music.  They are so revered, that they are lovingly referred to as New Orleans’ “First Family Of Funk.”  Cyril is also a member of the Royal Southern Brotherhood, which teams his awesome percussion skills and soulful vocals with guitarists Devon Allman and Mike Zito.  Now, Cyril has just released his solo Ruf Records debut, teaming with  producer David Z for “Magic Honey,” twelve cuts that travel all over the musical landscape and bring the listener touches of blues, soul, funk, and even a bit of reggae, guaranteed to please blues fans everywhere.

Joining Cyril are his core band of Cranston Clements on guitar, Willie Green on drums, Carl Dufrene on bass, and Norman Caesar on keys.  There are some fantastic special guests also, that make this one a sweet listening experience.

The funk hits the fan on the leadoff title cut, where Cyril’s lover “makes Magic Honey night and day.”  Next up is a cool little ditty that traces the origins of jazz, rock and roll, and even disco straight thru the “Swamp Funk.”  This one is special, indeed, as piano and organ are provided by icons Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, respectively.  Walter Trout adds guitar to “Running Water,” a tale of not being able to stop the inevitable, where “everything you do is gonna come back on you.”  Mike Zito is on wah-wah guitar in the scorching bit of blues-rock that is “Working Man,” where Cyril’s “got no time for living, ’cause I’m working all the time.”  The set closes with a breezy ode to romance, “Slow Motion,” set over a reggae beat, further exploring Cyril’s versatility.

Cyril also has his finger on the pulse of the state of the world today, and those efforts proved to be our standouts.  Societal differences that existed in the past are “Still Going Down Today,” while, “in this world, without money, love, soul, friends and courage, You Can Run But You Can’t Hide.”  “Invisible” brings to light the plight of the homeless, where those less fortunate are, more often than not, totally overlooked.  And, in perhaps the set’s most topical moment, Mike Zito is on slide guitar in a scorching shot at the powers that be, where “when it all comes down to it, it’s all about Money And Oil.”

Cyril Neville wanted to make an album that would appeal to as wide a fan base as possible.  Just like a good gumbo that’s cooked to perfection, “Magic Honey” exceeds these expectations!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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