Cyril Neville – Magic Honey
On his new album of soulful blues rock and funk, Magic Honey, Cyril Neville is joined by several other brothers from New Orleans and Ruf records. The twelve song set features Neville Brothers band mates Cranston Clements on tasty guitar, “Mean” Willie Green on pile driving drums, and from the Anders Osborne trio Carl Dufrene on bass. Special guests include appearances from the legendary Allen Toussaint on piano and Dr. John on organ, as well as Walter Trout and his Royal Southern Brotherhood band mate Mike Zito.
The percussionist, vocalist and youngest of the Neville Brothers has never been afraid to tackle social and spiritual issues as well as heavy grooves and at 64 why should Cyril hold back now. The album kicks off with the slinky title track paying homage to all southern funky blues, then giving us a bit of history lesson on Dr. John’s “Swamp Funk.” The heavy hitting begins with the Gales Brothers blues rocker “Something’s Got a Hold On Me.”
Cyril penned a soul stirring tango about a love triangle “Another Man,” with his real life partner Gaynielle Housey- Neville that features some fine piano from Allen Toussaint.
Mike Zito joined forces with Neville for two scalding social rebukes; the stomping “Still Going Down Today,” and the heavy blues “Money and Oil,” that also finds Zito adding his signature edgy slide guitar to the tellin’ it like it is mix. Continuing his tirade Neville dives into Paul Butterfields’ “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide,” and Warren Haynes “Invisible,” both delivered with muscular funk. Neville preaches to the choir on his own “Blues Is the Truth, featuring some classic leads from Cranston Clements. Guitar man Walter Trout delivers a gritty groove for the collaboration “Running Water,” a familiar sounding sermon of funk that could have easily been found on a Neville Brothers record.
Then the album hits the most unlikely of covers as the southern ensemble takes on the Great White North and proceed to tear through the RUSH classic “Working Man.” This must have been quite a beer fueled jam because they hit it with fire adding a sing along chorus to spice up the end of this iconic anthem to blue collar workers of the Americas.
Rick J Bowen