25 January 2020 (released)
25 January 2020
Ask most lovers of funk music and they will tell you that The Meters were the funkiest band who ever lived. I
n my personal opinion the Neville Brothers ran them very close for that title, maybe even surpassing them. The common denominator is the late Art Neville (keyboards) but both bands are steeped in New Orleans wildest funk and soul brew and have been involved with the likes of Alan Toussaint, Dr John, The Wild Tchoupitoulas.
This album sees the Neville Brothers live in Colorado in 2008 and showing exactly why they are so highly regarded.
The album kicks off with a swamp laden version of ‘Fire On The Bayou’, hot steamy sound with keys driving the song, Aaron Neville’s sweet vocals, stunning guitar lines but more than anything the bass and drums (Cyril Neville) cooking up a wild and irresistible funk.
‘Brother Jake’ continues the groove in a slightly jazzier vein (reminiscent of the Brecker Bros) and then a gorgeous version of the classic ‘Fever’ with a stunning vocal from Aaron and rorty sax solo from brother Charles.
I love their version of Professor Longhair’s ‘Tipitina’ with every band member taking a turn and Aaron’s vocal on their version of ‘A Change Gonna Come’ is so pure it could have you in tears as it is on ‘Amazing Grace’.
The closer is Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’, sounding perfect in this environment.
It isn’t often that a live album makes you wish that you had been there but this is one – some fine performances and exhausting levels of funk all showing why New Orleans is the home of modern music.