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The NOLA first family of music emerges

The Neville Brothers have strong connections to Allen Toussaint, aka Naomi Neville.
The Neville Brothers have strong connections to Allen Toussaint, aka Naomi Neville.
Original Cover: Capitol Records

Record album by The Neville Brothers: The Neville Brothers (1978)

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Here’s why this album should be in your collection!

Arthur, Charles, Aaron and Cyril Neville released The Neville Brothers in 1978. They formed The Neville Brothers band after working with their uncle George Landry (“Big Chief Jolly”) on the album The Wild Tchoupitoulas in 1976.

By then, Art had already recorded solo hits (like “All These Things”), a seasonal classic with The Hawketts (“Mardi Gras Mambo”), and many hits with The Meters (like “Looka Py Py”); Aaron’s signature song was “Tell It Like It Is,” Charles was an accomplished touring musician, and Cyril was performing with the Meters.

The Neville Brothers showcases musical versatility (“I’ll Take My Chances,” “Dancing Jones”) and solid New Orleans roots (“Vieux Carre Rouge,” “Speed of Light).” The album’s underrated gems feature Cyril on “Washable Ink,” and Aaron on the haunting ballad, “Arianne.”

The Nevilles frequently include other family members as performers, such as Charmaine and Ivan. One of their greatest influences has been Naomi Neville, the pseudonym Allen Toussaint used early in his career as a tribute to his mother.

This album is available in vinyl, CD, and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.

Here’s an interesting fact!

In 1979 a police strike forced the cancellation of the organized Carnival parades in the city of New Orleans. Like many other homegrown musicians, the Nevilles literally took to the streets on Mardi Gras, performing live in inner-city neighborhoods. And every corner bar was playing “Mardi Gras Mambo.”