I am back with a promised and necessary tribute to a titan of American music.
He passed away from pancreatic cancer just a couple of weeks ago, after a long career as a vital element in one of the world's most beloved bands.
As part of the unofficial first family of New Orleans, he sailed the world thousands of times over, bringing the Joy in a way that only they could.
Now that he's gone, I wonder whether they'll ever play again. I sure hope so.
They started out in style, as the backing band on one of the 1970s most indispensable records, documenting the lore of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition down in New Orleans with The Wild Tchoupitoulas.
That LP proved so massive that they branched out on their own, poaching various family members from The Meters, who were breaking up at the time. They even took their cousins -- those Mardi Gras Indians in full costume -- on tour with them.
Forty years on, here they are as one of the world's most beloved ensembles, thanks in no small part to the contributions of their Horn Man, Charles Neville.
To honor his life's work, I have placed into the cloud a composite of two Neville Brothers sets recorded in the old, now disused Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium right here on Lake Merritt in Oakland. These were taped on Mardi Gras 1986, a fact that will become evident upon approximately 17 seconds of listening.
Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center
01 Bill Graham intro/Mardi Gras Mambo
02 Hey Pocky Way
03 Willie & the Hand Jive
05 Mojo Hannah
06 Everybody Better Wake Up
07 Run Joe Run
08 People Say
10 Sitting In Limbo
11 Fear, Hate, Envy, Jealousy
12 Tipitina/If You Go to New Orleans
13 New Suit
14 Meet de Boys On de Battlefront
15 Big Chief
16 Fiyo On the Bayou
Total time: 1:18:32
Tracks 01-06 & 12-16, 2.11.1986
Bill Graham intro & Tracks 07-11, 2.12.1986
Aaron Neville - vocals, percussion
Art Neville - keyboards & vocals
Charles Neville - saxophones, percussion & vocals
Cyril Neville - percussion & vocals
Brian Stoltz - guitar
Daryl Johnson - bass
William Green - drums
George "Big Chief Jolly" Landry & The Wild Tchoupitoulas - vocals & percussion
master cassettes from the soundboard feed of two consecutive nights,
composited by EN into one long Mardi Gras set covering all titles performed
470 MB FLAC/May 2018 archive link
I am gonna make this the start of three consecutive weekend posts about three wildly different musos, so atay tuned. And do jam this Nevilles set as loudly as possible, as Charles the Horn Man would want you to let those good times roll.--J.
12.28.1938 - 4.26.2018