Royal & Toulouse arose in 2006 from the desire of a few friends to make music together and has since mushroomed into an amalgamation of jazz, hip hop, rock, and blues that 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 debut release, Skull Orchard, sprang up much like their original jam sessions and practices, 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.
With a recent feature in the “On the Rise” section of Relix magazine and opening the 2015 Chicago Blues Festival, headlined by Buddy Guy, the band is tighter than ever and gearing up for their album release later this year.