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MEMPHIS, TN – The Memphis Royal Brothers are excited to share their debut single “Brand New Heart” off of the forthcoming self-titled release via Royal Records. The track features vocalists  Jim Lauderdale and Wendy Moten and was premiered by Taste of Country  The song was co-written by Paul Williams and Wes Hamil. Williams is an Oscar, Grammy, and Johnny Mercer Songwriter Hall of Fame winner, and the current President of ASCAP.  The song pushes the edge of Americana, combining blues, gospel, Austin rock, Nashville country and Memphis R&B, fusing the lyrical sound of Nashville with blistering Memphis soul,  finding Lauderdale and Moten dueting about real love, found at last. Listen here. Pre-save here.


The project was overseen by Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Boo Mitchell, son of the renowned producer Willie Mitchell (owner/operator of Hi Records, the label that launched Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright, and some of the greatest names in the history of Memphis soul) and co-producer Richard Bolen, an astute marketing professional. ; The appropriately dubbed Memphis Royal Brothers boasts a line-up of living legends, six of them are Grammy Award winners, and several are nominees, along with an Academy Award-winning writer.  

Richard and Gary Bolen were originally inspired by the award-winning documentary, Take Me to the River; the brothers brought the idea of creating a namesake band around the studio’s iconic environs while enlisting Boo to recruit the musicians and provide the facilities to bring the dream to fruition. Further, Gary Bolen, Richard Bolen’s younger brother, composed much of the material in collaboration with Wes Hamil and played guitar in the band. 

“Richard and Gary have such great energy and really good hearts and spirits,” Mitchell said. “They just felt like family from the first introduction. And when the energy is that good, it always makes me want to go the extra mile, pull out all the stops, and do everything I can to make the project successful.

Wendy Moten Photograph by Thomas Crabtree

Boo’s enthusiasm was evident from the outset. The musicians he enlisted are part of an extended family that worked closely with his father, and they still retain their ties to Boo and the Royal Recording Studio legacy. Between them, they’ve played on thousands of albums spawning rock n’ roll, blues, soul, R&B, country, jazz, and Americana country, featuring some of the most extraordinary musical acts ever. 

What resulted from this incredible combination is an album for the ages. These songs share a timeless tradition, performed by masterful musicians, and produced in a place that reflects one of the essential bloodlines of roots, blues, and rock and roll: Clarksdale, Mississippi. The songs echo those strains of classic American music — Rock, Delta Blues, Memphis Soul, Gospel, and R&B. 

Mitchell agrees it is part of a remarkable legacy that spans sixty years of a great Memphis musical heritage that’s coming together now to create new musical magic. “There’s history here,” Boo suggests. “But it’s also a continuum. So, the legacy lives on as a testament to a timeless tradition.

Jim Lauderdale Photograph by Scott Simontacchi


Jim Lauderdale & Wendy Moten: Lead Vocals

Drums: Steve Potts

Hammond B3: Rev.Charles Hodges

Piano: Lester Snell

Bass: Jackie Clark

Guitar: Gary Bolen, Michael Toles, Luther Dickinson

Background Vox: Sharisse Norman, Shontelle Norman, Candise Marshall