This is Cyril Neville's, the youngest of the Neville Brothers, first solo album since about 2000, which is not to say he has been inactive as he is a staunch advocate for protecting the Wetlands to prevent disasters like Katrina from happening again, and a forthright activist for Amnesty International on Human Rights. This disc is filled with references, particularly to the latter cause, as he is not a man to separate art and his personal beliefs.
Brand New Blues is made with strong assistance from Brian J who produced, helped co-write five of the songs and played guitar, bass, and percussion and contributed some vocals to this effort. And there is strong contribution from the Neviille family—brother Art and cousins Ivan and Ian—as well as friends Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Tab Benoit, and Waylon Thibodeaux.
The music is just as the title says Blues and as music is constantly evolving, as are we, it is new as different influences and sounds from Neville's travels and the airwaves effect the way he plays the blues. There are influences and traces of Jazz, Reggae, Hip-Hop, and just the total sonic landscape of his travels since Katrina and his stays in places like Austin, TX, and the people he has played with as diverse as Edie Brickell, Jimmy Buffett, Daniel Lanois, and Willie Nelson. His voice has grown richer and more expressive with the passage of time. Listen to the caring and empathy in a song such as I'll Take Care of You, and the rage that can creep into his voice when he talks of people being mistreated or worse. He has grown and this is disc is a reflection of his growth.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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