McDowell Mountain Music Festival

McDowell Mountain Profile: The Neville Brothers

neville brothers
Photo by Beate Sandor

Now we’re getting to the really fun part. I’m excited as hell to say that I’m gonna see the Neville Brothers on Friday! As I mentioned in another post, I saw them at a cool festival in May 1996 called Laguna Seca Daze at the Laguna Seca Race track in Monterey, California (a festival that also included a “Being There”-era Wilco). I remember a really amazing moment as they were playing a version of the Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain” as the sun was setting (nope, not “Fire on the Bayou”). There were rolling green hills behind the stage, and around the bend on a distant hill road came a red fire truck with lights on and the faint sound of the siren. Amazing imagery (pfffffffssstt – pass it on!). Mindblowing dude! 😉

So where do you even start with the Nevilles? They are an institution in their hometown of New Orleans. Brothers Ivan, Aaron, Cyril, Art and Charles released their first record as the Neville Brothers in 1977 (self-titled). The brothers were active prior to that. Most notably, Art was a founding member of soul/funk pioneers the Meters. For a full bio, check out their site. So thirty years later, here they are still going strong, touring as ambassadors for their suffering city. As New Orleans Jazz Fest kicks off this weekend, I’ll have the honor of catching the Nevilles here in my home, Arizona. I consider myself very privileged.

The Neville BrothersYellow Moon (mp3) – live in KBCO studios, Boulder

Previous MMMF Profiles: Gelatinous Groove | 2 Tone Lizard Kings | Tea Leaf Green | Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

One Comment

  • Cove

    I am jealous! The Neville Brothers are among New Orleans’ finest, and though I have seen them perform almost 100 times, including several years in a row in which they closed out our Jazz Fest, they are missing our Jazz Fest for the third year in a row. Singer Aaron Neville has complained that our humid air gives him asthma, and after having trouble breathing on stage one year, he moved to Nashville. Anyone who has not seen the Nevilles perform live should get out and see them!

    We hope you will join us for Jazz Fest next year!

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