No band was more representative of Southern roots-based R&B and soul than the legendary Neville Brothers. Playing with the royalty of rock and jazz like Carlos Santana, Keith Richards, and Branford Marsalis, the band fused New Orleans mood with funk and jazz to create an entirely new sound in African-American music. Now an experienced solo percussionist, one of the brothers, Cyril Neville, is touring again with a new album. Take a listen on April 18 at Sullivan Hall in Manhattan.
Neville’s exposure began as a part of The Meters with his brother, Art. While never achieving significant commercial success, the band inspired many contemporary funk and progressive rock bands. He then moved on with Art Neville to form the Neville Brothers, continuing his musical evolution by incorporating elements of jazz and blues to create a thoroughly African combination of sounds that’s continued to evolve considerably across three decades and almost 20 albums.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Neville has caused some controversy due to his refusal to return to his home city. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, he’s written for several newspaper columns about the politics and issues of returning to the Big Easy. Even if Neville isn’t going back to New Orleans, he seems determined to bring New Orleans to every crowd he plays to. Since the death of Rick James and James Brown, shows with Neville and his band have become one of the last opportunities to see the original kings of true funk.
Sullivan Hall can be found on 214 Sullivan St., between W. 3rd and Bleecker. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and admission is open for all ages. Visit myspace.com/cyrilnevilleandtribe13 for more information.