“Royal & Toulouse bring rock and roll built on Delta blues. With members born in Texas and Alabama, and bound together by way of New Orleans, the band has held Southern roots at their center since their beginning. Loose-limbed coolness and a jam band aesthetic help fill out the vibe in the band’s latest album, “Shake that Reputation”. With it, Royal & Toulouse show a bonafide connection to the greats that came before them like Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin. ”
— The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Royal & Toulouse celebrates its southern roots and the sounds that influenced its members. The band surrounds the listener with New Orleans blues riffs, commands the stage with Texas swagger, and anchors the songs with Birmingham heart.
Their 2009 debut release, Skull Orchard, sprang up much like their original jam sessions, spontaneous and raw, but soon garnered worldwide airplay on radio stations in the US, UK, New Zealand, Japan, and France. The 2011 followup record, the 14-track Southern Circus, continued to explore Royal and Toulouse’s penchant for darkly beautiful lyrics and melodies, featured a more focused direction, and recruited a bevy of local talent such as keyboardist Matt Slocum (Susan Tedeschi, Rich Robinson Band, Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit) and trombonist Chad Fisher (Greg Allman, Jason Isbell, St. Paul & the Broken Bones). The album won the group rave reviews and higher profile shows with the likes of Dax Riggs, The Weeks, Lee Bains & the Glory Fires, The Dexateens, Ralph “Soul” Jackson, The Fiddleworms and more. They were featured in the “On the Rise” section of Relix magazine and played the 2015 Chicago Blues Festival, headlined by Buddy Guy.
Their momentum continued to escalate with the 2015 release of their EP, The Old & the New. They followed that up in early 2016 with the release of their full length album, Shake that Reputation, which took them on a U.S. tour covering 13 states in 10 weeks. One stop was at Daytrotter Studios in Davenport, Iowa where they laid down a 5 track session which was featured by Paste Magazine. Next, they won the Gulf Coast Blues Society's Battle of the Bands and went on to represent them in the 2017 International Blues Challenge. Higher profile shows continue to come their way, most recently they opened for multiple Seratones shows.
“Southern Circus” CD Review from Alamantra.org
An Indie Musician’s Life
With fourteen tracks, this CD is nothing less than a good ol’ fashioned Southern feast of sound that spans from New Orleans blues, funk, jazz, psychedelic rock, a little hip hop and a dash of voodoo. These tracks feature the vocals of Milyn Satterfield, who has a voice eerily reminiscent of singers like Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith. She has said her vocal style is something she inherited from her Grandmother, who was a gifted professional singer from “the good ol’ days.” Though, by no means, lacking in modern influences, I like that there is a sense of nostalgia and preservation that runs throughout the recording. It has an organic type of authenticity that I find appealing.
Even though the CD is self-made and self-produced it certainly doesn’t come away as lacking in its recording quality, musicianship or sense of craft. It was recorded and mastered in Birmingham by Emanual Ellinas of Sonic Sitori. Emanual certainly understands sound and processing, having created a line of pedals used by folks like Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth, as well as John Cummings of Mogwai. The musicianship is no less impressive and features some of Birmingham’s favorites: Raymond ‘Ol Tyma’ Hill (Headbaub Entertainment) spittin’ some chill raps, Carlos Pino (Smokin’ Newports, Ona Watson, Sharriff Simmons) on guitar; Matt Slocum (Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Herring and Oteil Burbridge) tickling the ivories; the horn work of Chad Fisher (Gregg Allman, Jason Isbell), Gary Wheat (Meteorite, The Temptations) & Rob Allen; and vocals from Kenneth (K.d.) Robinson (George Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Jive Mob, Alamantra). The rhythm section is as solid as it gets with Ricky Little and Alex Troughton holding down the bass and drums, respectively. These two have developed their tight rhythmic chemistry since the days of “Jive Mob;” a band that quickly captured ears throughout the South East in the late 1990s.
Overall, this is a damned fine, down-home brew of music that belongs in the collection of anyone who treasures a fresh mix of innovation and preservation. …An excellent piece of work!
CD Review from Leicester Bangs – UK
Royal & Toulouse – Southern Circus (Independent)
Originally formed in 2006 as a three-piece around vocalist / lyricist Milyn Satterfield, they’ve now expanded to a fourteen-piece band with a woodwind and brass section, keys, strings and turntables. That’s evolution at double speed. They hail from Birmingham, Alabama, and their Southern roots are reflected in the chilled, lazy grooves in which they frame Satterfield’s words and distinctive sound. Influenced by hip hop, blues, Southern rock and San Francisco psychedelia, Satterfield’s an original voice, and her band, a loose-limbed organism, move and shape themselves to suit.
Perhaps they’re just part of a wave of Alabama bands, but I’ve not heard anything quite like them. Their mix of big band aesthetics and a languid, toasted vibe is seriously appealing, and the standout tracks “Bohemian Heartache”, “Carnies’ Southern Delight”, “Triflin’ Ass Fools”, etc. manage to find a link between the boho smarts of Rickie Lee Jones and old-school Southern rap crews like Arrested Development. They’re quite a proposition, and if any of the above sounds interesting, I can only recommend that you check out “Southern Circus” at your earliest convenience. You wont be sorry.
Review from Indie Connect Birmingham
Meet Royal & Toulouse
Posted by MJ on Dec 21, 2011
Ever since Royal & Toulouse‘s inception as a simple jam session back in 2006, this band’s star has been steadily in Birmingham and beyond. Earlier this month they played at The Bottletree Cafe with Dax Riggs. The band, described by one reviewer as “a loose-limbed organism,” has such a uniquely seductive sound that once you hear them, you can’t help but seek out more of their performances.
During its humble beginnings, Royal & Toulouse consisted of Milyn Satterfield performing vocals, Ricky Little on bass, and Alex Troughton on drums. For their latest album, “Southern Circus,” the band actually grew to the size of a small circus. You can hear Matt Slocum tickling keys, Carlos Pino playing guitar, Ol’ Tyma performing flow, KD singing backup vocals, Chad Fisher blowing trombone, Rob Alley blaring trumpet, Gary Wheat wailing on tenor sax, Todd “Crush” McGlynn manning turntables, Jeanette Brabston bowing the violin, Glen Butts following up with more guitar, and Libba Walker pulling double shifts on flute and harmonica. Mat Gould and Milyn Satterfield wrote the lyrics for this record
With such a large pool of talented artists contributing to Royal & Toulouse, it’s no wonder that their music is a euphony of complex rhythms and styles. They juggle a variety of musical genres, from hip hop to southern rock, with such dexterity that you can hear every stylistic nuance without losing track of their complete musical arc. “Southern Circus” summons you into a new world. You wander half-asleep in the light of a full moon to the sound of electric guitar licks and crying harmonicas wafting through the humid air of a hot, southern delta swamp. You find yourself in a dark speakeasy, tipping back glasses of gin with a wrinkled jazzman while modern turntables spin their magic in the perfumed, smoky air. Everything seems just a bit weird, like a dream, but it’s a dream you don’t want to wake from unless the music ends.
Saturn - Birmingham, AL
The Nick - Birmingham, AL
Workplay - Birmingham, AL
Iron City - Birmingham, AL
Avondale Brewery - Birmingham, AL
Zydeco - Birmingham, AL
Trim Tab Brewing Co. - Birmingham, AL
Seasick Records- Birmingham, AL
Upsidedown Plaza - Birmingham, AL
Moonlight on the Mountain - Birmingham, AL
The Syndicate Lounge - Birmingham, AL
The Bottletree - Birmingham, AL
Speakeasy - Birmingham, AL
Rogue Tavern - Birmingham, AL
Stillwater - Birmingham, AL
B.A.A.M. Fest - Birmingham, AL
Gip's Place Juke Joint - Bessemer, AL
Blues Tavern - Mobile, AL
The Blind Mule - Mobile, AL
Egan's - Tuscaloosa, AL
Boom Days Festival - Ft. Payne, AL
Vintage 1889 - Ft. Payne, AL
Dekalb Theatre - Ft. Payne, AL
Blackstone - Gadsden, AL
Straight to Ale - Huntsville, AL
Cukorakko Festival - Steele, AL
The Ladybug Music Festival - Wilmington, DE
The Funky Blues Shack - Destin, FL
Boca Fiesta - Gainesville, FL
The Sidebar Theatre - Tallahassee, FL
Green Door Music Hall - Fort Walton Beach, FL
Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
Rhythm & Ribs Festival - Tipton, GA
Finster Fest - Summerville, GA
Paste Magazine's Daytrotter Studios - Davenport, IA
The Washington - Burlington, IA
Chicago Blues Festival - Chicago, IL
Elbo Room - Chicago, IL
The Howlin' Wolf - New Orleans, LA
Circle Bar - New Orleans, LA
Little River Marina - Moss Point, MS
Apex Festival - Apex, NC
The Bowery Electric - New York City, NY
Rockwood Music Hall - New York City, NY
CBGB Festival - New York City, NY
The National Underground - New York City, NY
Bushwick Public House - Brooklyn, NY
The Windjammer - Charleston, SC
Tin Roof - Charleston, SC
King Jerry Lawler's Hall of Fame - Memphis, TN
International Blues Challenge - Memphis, TN
SXSW - Austin, TX
Hole in the Wall - Austin, TX
Lustre Pearl East - Austin, TX
The Sidewinder - Austin, TX
Whip In - Austin, TX
Last Concert Cafe - Houston, TX