The Neville Brothers

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The Neville Brothers
Cover of the Neville Brothers' debut album
Cover of the Neville Brothers' debut album
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul, funk
Years active1976–2012, 2015
LabelsCapitol, Black Top, A&M, EMI, Columbia, Back Porch
Past members

The Neville Brothers were an American R&B/soul/funk group, formed in 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana.


The group notion started in 1976, when the four brothers of the Neville family, Art (1937–2019), Charles (1938–2018), Aaron (b. 1941), and Cyril (b. 1948) came together to take part in the recording session of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardi Gras Indian group led by the Nevilles' uncle, George Landry ("Big Chief Jolly").[1]

Their debut album The Neville Brothers was released in 1978 on Capitol Records.[2]

In 1987, the group released Uptown on the EMI label, featuring guests including Branford Marsalis, Keith Richards, and Carlos Santana. The following year saw the release of Yellow Moon from A&M Records produced by Daniel Lanois. The track "Healing Chant" from that album won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 1990 Grammy ceremony.[3]

In 1990, the Neville Brothers contributed "In the Still of the Night" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization.[4]

Also in 1990, they appeared on the bill at that year's Glastonbury Festival.[5] Due to Art Neville devoting more time to his other act, The Meters, the band kept a low profile in the late 1990s onto the early 2000s. They made a comeback in 2004, however, with the album, Walkin' in the Shadow of Life, on Back Porch Records, their first newly recorded effort in five years.[6]

All brothers except Charles, a Massachusetts resident, had been living in New Orleans, but following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 Cyril and Aaron moved out of the city. Aaron moved to Austin briefly at the invitation on his friend, the late blues club impresario, Clifford Antone. They had not been performing in New Orleans since Katrina hit the city; however, they finally returned to perform there at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2008, being given the closing spot which had been reserved for them for years.[7][8]

Infrequently, Aaron's son Ivan Neville (keyboards) and Art's son Ian Neville (electric guitar), both of the band Dumpstaphunk, have played with the Neville Brothers.

The group formally disbanded in 2012 but reunited in 2015 for a farewell concert in New Orleans.[9]

The Neville Brothers appear in performance footage in the 2005 documentary film Make It Funky!, which presents a history of New Orleans music and its influence on rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk and jazz.[10] In the film, they perform "Fire on the Bayou" with guests Ivan and Ian Neville.[11]

Charles Neville died of pancreatic cancer on April 26, 2018, at the age of 79.[12]

Art Neville died on July 22, 2019, at the age of 81. A cause of death has not yet been provided.[13]


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • 1984: Neville-ization (Black Top)
  • 1987: Nevillization 2 (Live at Tipitina's Volume 2) (Spindletop)
  • 1994: Live on Planet Earth (A&M)
  • 1998: Live at Tipitina's (1982) (Rhino)
  • 2010: Authorized Bootleg: Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA, February 27, 1989 (A&M)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 1986: Treacherous: A History of The Neville Brothers (1955–1985) (Rhino)
  • 1991: Treacherous Too!: A History of the Neville Brothers, Vol. 2 (1955-1987) (Rhino)
  • 1997: The Very Best of the Neville Brothers (Rhino)
  • 1999: Uptown Rulin' – The Best of the Neville Brothers (A&M)
  • 2004: 20th Century Masters – The Millenium Collection: The Best of The Neville Brothers (A&M)
  • 2005: Gold (Hip-O/UMe)


Year Single Peak positions Album
1978 "Washable Ink / Speed of Light" The Neville Brothers
1979 "Sweet Honey Dripper / Dance Your Blues Away" single only
1981 "Sitting In Limbo / Brother John / Iko Iko" Fiyo On The Bayou
1987 "Whatever It Takes" Uptown
1989 "Sister Rosa" 75 23 Yellow Moon
"Yellow Moon" 21
"With God on Our Side" 53 26 47
1990 "A Change Is Gonna Come"
"Bird on a Wire" 5 35 72 Brother's Keeper
"River of Life"
"Fearless" 40
1991 "Sons and Daughters"
"Drift Away" 19 Treacherous Too! A History of The Neville Brothers
1992 "Fly Like an Eagle" 44 8 66 Family Groove
"One More Day" 29
"On the Other Side of Paradise"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Related albums[edit]


  1. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 280/1. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  2. ^ The Neville Brothers (1978). The Neville Brothers (LP). Hollywood, CA: Capitol. OCLC 5004448. ST-11865.
  3. ^ "32nd Annual GRAMMY Awards". November 28, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Various artists (1990). Red Hot & Blue (CD). Hollywood, CA: Chrysalis. OCLC 947953022. F2 21799.
  5. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 471. CN 5585.
  6. ^ "Walkin' in the Shadow of Life - Neville Brothers | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  7. ^ Editorial, Reuters (November 17, 2007). "Neville Bros. return to New Orleans jazz festival". Retrieved April 9, 2018. {{cite news}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ "The Neville Brothers' triumphant Jazzfest return". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Spera, Keith (May 3, 2015). "Neville Brothers farewell concert was both celebratory and confounding". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "IAJE What's Going On". Jazz Education Journal. Manhattan, Kansas: International Association of Jazz Educators. 37 (5): 87. April 2005. ISSN 1540-2886. ProQuest 1370090.
  11. ^ Make It Funky! (DVD). Culver City, California: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005. ISBN 9781404991583. OCLC 61207781. 11952.
  12. ^ Spera, Keith (April 26, 2018). "New Orleans legend Charles Neville, saxophonist for the Neville Brothers, dies at 79". The New Orleans Advocate. Archived from the original on April 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "Art Neville, New Orleans funk musician, dead at 81 — CNN".
  14. ^ "The Neville Brothers - Australian Charts". Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Neville Brothers - German Chart". Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "The Official Charts Company - The Neville Brothers". The Official Charts Company. April 6, 2014.

External links[edit]