Cyril Neville: Brand New Blues (MC Records)

 |   |  1 min read

Cyril Neville: Brand New Blues
Cyril Neville: Brand New Blues (MC Records)

As with the Marleys (Bob, Rita, Damian, Ziggy et al), we are hardly short of Nevilles in the world: there are the original Neville Brothers and their offspring (notably Ivan) as well as others in the extended family (Charmaine).

Here Cyril, the 61-year old Brother and co-founder of the classic pre-Nevilles band The Meters, delivers a winning blend of soulful blues in which he gets the family assistance you might expect from Art, Ivan and Ian, and also guitarist Tab Benoit. But mostly this is producer Brian J's show who plays guitars, drums, keyboards and percussion.

And yet it is singer Cyril who towers as a achingly soulful and earthy blues singer on material which references the long tradition, borrows readily from Jimmy Reed, BB King and the likes of Johnny Guitar Watson, but also keeps a Southern/New Orleans funk quality to the fore in songs which have an almost instant appeal, but are also of some depth.

He's also very much in tune with the times and his nine minute version of Bob Marley's Slave Driver at the end is an absolute standout in this quality company: he brings a deeply sad tone to the lyrics which turn to his post-Katrina hometown and reflect on the misery still there, despite the positive spin put out in publicity.

"And now they say the city's back to the way it used to be, but I think that's just a heap of hypocrisy . . . take a ride across the G-NO and look back across, you'll see half of the city is still in the dark . . ." 

These songs may be blues by the broadest definition, but whether it be the funky I Found Joy, the sprightly Cream Them Beans, the roadhouse sound of Shake Your Gumbo or that remarkable Slave Driver, these are indeed brand new blues.

And that Neville Brothers funk-soul heart still beats within. 

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy (Warner)

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy (Warner)

One the interesting things about post-punk bands like Wire is how they acknowledge and sometimes even refer to their past, but use it as a platform to push into other areas. You... > Read more

Charlotte Yates; Archipelago (Universal)

Charlotte Yates; Archipelago (Universal)

For over a decade Wellington's Charlotte Yates put her energy into setting words by James K Baxter, Hone Tuwhare and Witi Ihimaera to music by all-star casts, but only managed two albums of her... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts (ECM/Ode)

Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts (ECM/Ode)

Late on this album by the American pianist Craig Taborn and his quartet, they deliver a thoughtful version of Jamaican Farewell, not the song made famous by Harry Belafonte – that is... > Read more

GUEST DIRECTOR DAVID TRUEBA from Spain discusses his new film which isn't about John Lennon

GUEST DIRECTOR DAVID TRUEBA from Spain discusses his new film which isn't about John Lennon

The backdrop of my film Living is Easy With Eyes Closed is 1960s Spain. A place full of contradictions, grey, under the control of an authoritative regime, a generation living with... > Read more