Brand New Blues is Cyril Neville's first release in eight years. A barrage of support appears on the record from family and friends who help Cyril achieve his vision of what is Brand New Blues. Guest appearances include brother and fellow Meter Art Neville (Organ) Ivan Neville (Organ), Ian Neville (Guitar), Tab Benoit (Guitar), Waylon Thibodeaux (Washboard) and Jumpin Johnny Sansone on harmonica. The sessions were recorded in Brooklyn NY, Austin TX, Houma LA & New Orleans LA. Half the songs on are original material co-written by Cyril with the perspective of an outspoken advocate, from his work with Amnesty International on Human Rights, to the plight of Louisiana s dissipating Wetlands. The new release churns up a lifetime of musical influences & passions; blues, funk and soul. Producer/musician Brian J of The Pimps of Joytime is at the helm of most production chores by playing most of the instruments to recording and writing with Cyril.
Everybody has a favorite Neville Brother, and those who like funkified blues generally gravitate toward Cyril, the youngest of the New Orleans musical torchbearers. With Brand New Blues, his first solo disc since 2000, the percussionist-vocalist and founding member of the Meters brings his perspective as a human-rights advocate and wetlands preservationist to the original material and a few well-chosen covers.It's a postmodern blues sound, with plenty of soul and funk, plus world music influences. While this might be seen as an infringement on the blues trademark by purists, it's a refreshingly original approach to the music that should resonate with a non-blues audience, as well. Try the suggestive Cream Them Beans the Benoit guitar raveup on & Mean Boss Blues, the gritty version of the Bobby Blue Bland hit I'll Take Care of You and a version of Bob Marley's Slave Driver that seems redesigned for the post-Katrina years. Jeff Johnson --Chicago Sun-Times
Cyril Neville may be the youngest of the Neville Brothers, the first family of New Orleans rock and R&B, but he has just made his best album. Brand New Blues ably covers a lot of territory, from the Southern soul of I'll Take Care of You to the Sly Stone rumble of the title song to the Slim Harpo cooking show that is Cream Them Beans. There is terrific guitar playing throughout from producer Brian J, who co-wrote most of the originals with Neville, and guest appearances by older brothers Art Neville and nephew Ivan Neville on organ and Tab Benoit on guitar. Although the more standard blues songs have their share of mean women, they're nothing compared to the politicians in Cheatin' and Lyin' or Mean Boss Blues who betray and disappoint honest folks. That is most clear in the finale, a 10-minute rendition of Bob Marley's Slave Driver that moves the scene to post-Katrina New Orleans, and is a striking, yet very funky, indictment of hypocrisy and abandonment. Wayne Robins --Billboard Magazine
The music is just as the title says Blues and as music is constantly evolving, as are we, it is new as different influences and sounds from Neville's travels and the airwaves effect the way he plays the blues. There are influences and traces of Jazz, Reggae, Hip-Hop, and just the total sonic landscape of his travels since Katrina and his stays in places like Austin, TX, and the people he has played with as diverse as Edie Brickell, Jimmy Buffett, Daniel Lanois, and Willie Nelson. His voice has grown richer and more expressive with the passage of time. Listen to the caring and empathy in a song such as I'll Take Care of You, and the rage that can creep into his voice when he talks of people being mistreated or worse. He has grown and this is disc is a reflection of his growth. --Fame