The Neville Brothers
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The differences between the four Neville Brothers are as dramatic as the similarities that unite them. The source of the similarities is passionate funk, a feeling for blues-soaked deep pocket grooves that is the basis of their greatness and exalted place in our cultural history.
Art is the oldest. They call him Poppa Funk for a reason. He formed the first band. As both inspired singer and blistering keyboardist, his role models were Fats Domino and Bill Doggett. Art is the Founding Father. He still lives in the same Thirteenth Ward block of Valence Street where he and his siblings were raised in New Orleans.
Charles is a year younger than Art. His religions are bebop and Buddhism. His instrument is the saxophone. At fifteen, he was the first brother to leave home and hit the road, playing with everyone from the Rabbit Foot Minstrels to B.B.King. They called him "The Boy Wonder of Sax." He went to Memphis and returned home with a new stew of blues.
Aaron is a believer, a devout Catholic who worships at the shrine of St. Jude, patron of lost causes. Aaron's vocal aesthetic is downright angelic, an extraordinarily sweet mixture of Gene Autry yodeling and Golden Age gospel crooning. Along with Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, he is classified as one of the seminal soul singers.
Cyril is the baby, a generation younger than his big brothers. His attitude is radical - a rougher, tougher blend of balls-out R&B, uncut bayou funk and militant social consciousness. As a writer, percussionist and powerhouse singer, he has made his mark as the most fiery brother and impassioned keeper of the Neville flame.
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