The Neville Brothers
"50,000 WATTS OF PURE FUNK:"
NEVILLES RELEASE THE FUNKY, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL 'WALKIN' IN THE SHADOW OF LIFE' (NEVILLE NATION/ BACK PORCH/EMI)
Songs deal with their heritage, music biz turmoil, drugs, identity, war and state of the nation?
"Junkie Child" features B.G. ('Life After Cash Money')
Faced with possible paralysis after back surgery in October 2001, band leader and eldest brother Art Neville (nicknamed "Poppa Funk") realized that he wasn't living life to the fullest. Art told his brothers, "I feel like I've been walkin' in the shadow of life" during his recovery. His comment, along with inspiration from Aaron Neville's private poetry/journal entries, triggered a much-needed reunion that lead to this spirited October 19 release.
In the title track, the Neville Brothers sing, "No second chance when your ass is grass/and about the money, you can't take your paper when you meet your maker/Watchin' everything just pass you by/ blamin? everyone else but you ain't never tried/ stallin? every little chance you get/never doin' nothin' about it until there ain't no time left."
'Walkin' in the Shadow of Life' (Neville Nation/Back Porch/EMI) reflects the Neville Brothers' life experiences, including growing up in one of the toughest New Orleans neighborhoods, the thirteenth ward , surviving the music industry machine, and overcoming their struggles with drugs. The breakbeat-infused, thirteen-track masterpiece revives the trademark Neville Brothers sound. 'Walkin' in the Shadow of Life' revisits the spirit of their 1989 million-selling 'Yellow Moon' record not only by continuing to tell their story, but also by returning to their classic funk foundation.
Other songs also give listeners a glimpse into the Neville Brothers' inner lives. Expanding on one of Aaron's poems, "Brothers" discusses their relationships with one another: "I pray sometimes I can right the wrong/Been too long we all have grieved/I believe let the bygones be gone/The dues we paid together kept us strong/Now it's time to pass the love on, mom and dad must have sent us this song/The blood that flows through your veins is the same that runs through mine."
Another song, the P-Funk flavored "Can't Stop the Funk," references the Nevilles' solo careers and influences while reflecting on the musical changes since Art wrote the Mardi Gras theme song "Mardi Gras Mambo" in 1954: "We been around since the bebop, Charlie, man/We been around since the doo wop, me an' Aaron y'all/Now we around for the hip-hop, Cyril an' them/Now we about to make a flip-flop," sings Art. Aaron Neville?s youngest son, Jason raps over a long vamp at the end of the track.
Hip-hop star B.G., whose album 'Life After Cash Money' hit #2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums last week, guests on ?Junkie Child,? a track detailing not only The Neville Brothers, but B.G.?s struggles with substance abuse growing up as a New Orleans? inner city youth.
Several tracks, such as "Streets Are Callin'," "Your Life (Fallen Soldiers)," and "Carry the Torch" discuss life on the street. Growing up in the Calliope projects of New Orleans and struggling with gangs and drugs, the band members have come out strong; they are all currently sober and completely focused on music.
Ending the band's five-year hiatus from recording, 'Walkin' in the Shadow of Life' marks the welcome return of the group's smoldering funk and R&B. The record features the classic Nevilles lineup -- Aaron Neville (vocals, percussion), Art Neville (vocals, Hammond B3 organ, keys), Cyril Neville (vocals, percussion) and Charles Neville (vocals, tenor sax, flute) -- along with Aaron's son Ivan Neville on keys and Art's son Ian on guitar. 'Walkin'' also includes funky a cover of the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," a unique, lullaby like version of
The Melodions reggae classic "The Rivers of Babylon," and the stirring "Kingdom Come" which was written by Cyril Neville with Bono of U2. "Kingdom Come" originated during the 'Brothers Keeper' sessions. With the original recording in a vault, the Neville Brothers rerecorded the song.
Official Website: http://220.127.116.11/
Added by ranakabir on April 7, 2006