Art Neville

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Art Neville
Art Neville - The funky Meters.jpg
Neville at 2012 Jazz Fest
Background information
Birth name Arthur Lanon Neville
Born (1937-12-17) December 17, 1937 (age 77)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Genres Funk, R&B, soul
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, bandleader
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards
Years active Early 1950s–present
Associated acts Hawketts, Neville Sounds, The Meters, Neville Brothers, The Funky Meters

Arthur Lanon "Art" Neville (born December 17, 1937) is an American singer and keyboardist from New Orleans.

Neville is a part of one of the notable musical families of New Orleans, the Neville Brothers. He is a founding member of The Meters and continues to play with the spinoff group The Funky Meters.[1][2]

He has played on recordings by many notable artists from New Orleans and elsewhere, including Labelle (on "Lady Marmalade"), Paul McCartney, Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, Dr. John and Professor Longhair.


Neville grew up in New Orleans. He is the son of Amelia Landry and Arthur Neville Sr.[3][4] He started on piano and performed with his brothers at an early age. He was influenced by the R&B styles of James Booker, Bill Doggett, Booker T. Jones, Lloyd Glenn and Professor Longhair.[5][6] In high school he joined and later led the Hawketts. In 1954 the band recorded "Mardi Gras Mambo" with Neville on vocals.[7][8] The song gained popularity and became a New Orleans carnival anthem. The band toured with Larry Williams. Neville performed regularly in New Orleans, joined the U.S. Navy in 1958, and returned to music in 1962. He released several singles as a lead artist in 1950s and 1960s.[5][9]

In early 1960s Neville formed the Neville Sounds. The band included Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli, and later Ziggy Modeliste.[6][8] Shortly after, Aaron and Cyril left the group to form their own band.[9] The remaining four members continued playing at the Nitecap and the Ivanhoe nightclubs.[5][9] The band backed up many notable musicians such as Lee Dorsey, Betty Harris and The Pointer Sisters.[8][5] The band had a strong sense of groove and unlike traditional groups each instrument was free to lead and go anywhere musically. Over time the band's style came to represent New Orleans funk.[3][8]

In the late 1960s the band changed its name to The Meters and released three instrumental albums.[5] Early on, compositions were through live improvisation, however this changed in the early 1970s.[9][6] The band gained notoriety in the rock music community including with musicians Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and The Rolling Stones.[3] The group released five more albums and disbanded in late 1970s due to financial, managerial and artistic factors.[10] The band's musical style emphasized rhythm over melody[5] and had a lasting impact on upcoming musical styles such as hip-hop as well as jam bands including Phish, Galactic and Red Hot Chili Peppers.[8][11][12][13]

In 1978 Neville and his brothers Cyril, Aaron and Charles formed The Neville Brothers. Previously, the brothers had worked on The Wild Tchoupitoulas album.[9] The group's debut album, titled The Neville Brothers, was released in 1978. The group released several albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including Fiyo on the Bayou and Yellow Moon, and an album in 2004.[14] During this period, Neville performed several shows with the original Meters bandmates including a 1989 reunion at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Following that performance, Neville, Porter, Nocentelli and Russell Batiste formed The Funky Meters. The lineup changed in 1994 with Brian Stoltz replacing Nocentelli on guitar. Neville performed concurrently with both The Neville Brothers and The Funky Meters.[9]

In a 1995 interview, Neville spoke about the joy of live improvisation. He said "The best part, to me, is when the [rhythm] just evolves into some other stuff."[6] Neville received a Grammy in 1989 with The Neville Brothers for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.[15] He received a Grammy in 1996 with various artists for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in "SRV Shuffle", a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Neville is married to wife Lorraine and has four children, Arthel, Amelia, Michael and Ian.[4] Arthel Neville is a journalist and television personality.[16] Ian Neville is a guitar player and member of Dumpstaphunk, a New Orleans-based funk and jam band.[17] He occasionally performs with The Funky Meters.[18]


Credits adapted from Discogs, manual search required.[19][20]


  • 1955 "Mardi Gras Mambo" / "Your Time's Up" (Chess 1591) (with the Hawketts)
  • 1957 "Oooh-Whee Baby" / "The Whiffenpoof Song" (Specialty 592)
  • 1958 "Cha Dooky Do" / "Zing Zing" (Specialty 637)
  • 1959 "What's Going On" / "Arabian Love Call" (Specialty 656)
  • 1961 "Too Much" / "That Rock 'n' Roll Beat" (Instant 3236)
  • 1962 "All These Things" / "Come Back Love" (Instant 3246)
  • 1963 "You Won't Do Right" / "Skeet Skat" (Instant 3256)
  • 1963 "Lover of Love (Part 1)" / "Lover of Love (Part 2)" (Cinderella 1201)
  • 1965 "My Babe" / "My Dear Dearest Darling" (Cinderella 1400)
  • 1965 "My Dear Dearest Darling" / "Little Liza Jane" (Cinderella 1401)
  • 1966 "Buy Me A Rainbow" / "Hook Line and Sinker" (Instant 3276)
  • 1966 "House on The Hill (Rock 'n' Roll Hootenanny" / "Darling, Don't Leave Me This Way" (Instant 3281) (rumored to exist)
  • 1968 "Bo Diddley (part 1)" / "Bo Diddley (part 2)" (Sansu 481) (with The Meters)
  • 1968 "Heartaches" / "I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt On You" (Sansu 482) (with The Meters)

Other contributions[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Bill Dahl. "Allmusic – Art Neville – biography". Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ Alex Heigl (July 2, 2015). "Your Guide to the Nevilles, New Orleans's First Family of Music". People magazine. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Rick Koster (2002). Louisiana Music: A Journey From R&B To Zydeco, Jazz To Country, Blues To Gospel, Cajun Music To Swamp Pop To Carnival. Da Capo Press. pp. 97–105. ISBN 9780786752560. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Bunny Matthews (February 1, 2003). "2002 Best of the Beat Lifetime Achievement in Music Award: Art Neville". OffBeat magazine. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Grace Lichtenstein; Laura Dankner (1993). Musical Gumbo: The Music of New Orleans. W.W. Norton. pp. 153–160. ISBN 9780393034684. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Meter Men: An OffBeat Interview with Art Neville and George Porter, Jr.". OffBeat magazine. May 1, 1995. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Gambit Weekly – The Mambo Kings". February 10, 2004. Archived from the original on March 9, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Allmusic – The Meters – biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Dave Thompson (2001). Funk, Third Ear: The Essential Listening Companion. Hal Leonard. pp. 164–169. ISBN 9780879306298. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ The Meters, late 1970s:
  11. ^ Rickey Vincent (2014). Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 67–68. ISBN 9781466884526. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Phishy Meters – Phish's Page McConnell Joins the Meter Men". OffBeat magazine. May 1, 2013. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  13. ^ Dean Budnick (2003). Jambands: The Complete Guide to the Players, Music, & Scene. Hal Leonard. pp. 61–62. ISBN 9780879307455. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Art Neville – biography". music blog. October 2013. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Grammy winners – Art Neville". Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Arthel Neville nominated for '2009 Woman of the Year'". Fox 5 San Diego. May 28, 2009. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ian Neville on Getting Funky". Guitar Player. August 15, 2012. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Player's Corner: Art Neville's Funky Knuckles". American Songwriter. June 23, 2010. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Discogs: Art Neville – discography". Discogs. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Discogs: Advanced search". Discogs. Retrieved November 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]