Brand New Blues (MC Records)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., May 15, 2009
Cyril NevilleBrand New Blues (MC Records)
In his debut full-length since relocating to Austin after Katrina's floodwaters washed away his New Orleans home, the youngest of the legendary Neville Brothers sets course on a mighty wave of blues. Weaving the family's famous NOLA funk with various shades of blues, Cyril Neville wrote or co-wrote half of the disc's 10 tracks, drawing on Jimmy Reed ("I Found Joy"), Brook Benton ("I'll Take Care of You"), and Bob Marley ("Slave Driver") for the others. It's soulful stuff, and what makes Brand New Blues such a groove is Cyril's musical chemistry with co-writer/producer/one-man band Brian J. Together, the two forge links with the blues using steely determination and a handful of guests such as Art and Ivan Neville and Tab Benoit. Yet more than simply delivering a fine recording, the 10 searing minutes of "Slave Driver" challenge the shaky status quo of Cyril's hometown with his best weapon: the voice of truth.