Art Neville performing with The Funky Meters at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Gentilly Stage, on Sunday, May 6, 2012. By robbisaurus via wikipedia
New Orleans music and cultural legend Art Neville, who co-founded the Meters and Neville Brothers, has died. He was 81 years old.
“Poppa Funk,” as he was known, shaped the sound of New Orleans for half a century, reports nola.com's Keith Spera. “In the latest blow for a New Orleans music community that had already lost Dr. John and Dave Bartholomew this summer, Neville died Monday after years of declining health.”
The keyboardist and singer was the voice of the Carnival anthem for the ages, 'Mardi Gras Mambo.'”
Excerpt from NOLA.com's obituary:
"It was peaceful," said Kent Sorrell, Neville's longtime manager. "He passed away at home with his adoring wife Lorraine by his side. He toured the world how many times, but he always came home to Valence Street."
Arthur Lanon Neville was born on December 17, 1937, the same day as New Orleans piano legend James Booker. As a boy, he lived in the Calliope housing development and Uptown on Valence Street. He was drawn to the Orioles, the Drifters and other doo-wop groups, as well as the piano-driven music of Professor Longhair and Fats Domino.
He attended St. Augustine and Booker T. Washington high schools before earning his GED from Walter S. Cohen, where he’d hang out in the music room with fellow members of the Hawketts, the group he joined in 1953.
He was barely 17 when, in 1954, he sang lead on the Hawketts’ remake of a country song called “Mardi Gras Mambo.” Local deejay Jack the Cat convinced the Hawketts to record "Mardi Gras Mambo" at his radio station. Little did they know that, more than 60 years later, the song would still be a Carnival staple.
“I was so happy to record,” he recalled in a 2013 interview. Jack the Cat “had this song. It sounded good to me. We cut it in the station, with two or three microphones. I knew it felt good to do it. But I had no idea that it would still be around.”
New Orleans legend Art Neville, founder of the Meters and Neville Brothers, dies at 81 [Keith Spera, nola.com]
At Nick Cave’s “The Red Hand Files,” the musician/poet/screenwriter responded to a fan who asked, “What do you do when the lyrics just aren’t coming?” In short, Cave’s answer is to wait patiently. But his full reply is quite beautiful and inspiring. From The Red Hand Files: The idea of lyrics ‘not coming’ is basically […]
For the Seattle Mariners’ virtual Opening Day festivities, my pal Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie brought some good ol’ fashioned melancholy to John Fogerty’s “Centerfield.” Ben pre-recorded this clip in an appropriately, and sadly, empty T-Mobile Park.
Freeman Vines is a luthier in Fountain, North Carolina. For half a century, he’s crafted beautiful guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch Black people. Vines deeply moving work is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree Guitars, with tintype images by Timothy Duffy and essays by Zoe Van Buren […]
It’s tempting for many young professionals to assume that because they’ve spent most of their lives posting links to Facebook or pushing selfies to Instagram that they have the skills needed to be a digital marketer. Creating compelling content is certainly important, but if you’re not up to speed on search engine optimization (SEO), how […]
With everybody working from home now, it’s natural to start thinking about careers where not going into the office is more the norm than the exception. Better yet, many are looking to start careers as freelancers, professionals who build their livelihoods around the scope of their talent and not the fortunes of one all-encompassing employer. […]
“The way to have power is to take it.” — Boss Tweed. We think an 18th-century political power broker probably had a different definition of power in mind when he made that statement, yet the sentiment still applies. We’ve all got devices all but falling out of our pockets and the need for power to […]