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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cyril Neville

Brand New Blues

Review by Gary Hill

This album was released 10 years ago. It features a cool selection of blues based pieces. That said, the range of sounds wanders pretty far from that basis. I had a music teacher years ago who said something that I'll never forget: "you can have blues without jazz, but you can't have jazz without blues." So, it can be argued that everything here is based on blues in some way. Whatever you call it, though, this is an entertaining set.

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Track by Track Review
I Found Joy
The drums bring this into being. Organ (by Art Neville) and other instruments join to take us along a tasty soulful groove. This is bouncy, old-school and fun.
Brand New Blues
I love the guitar work on this cut, some of which is provided by guest musician Tab Benoit. Ian Neville is the other guitarist on the song. The piece is a powerhouse blues number that's so cool. Ivan Neville adds some tasty keys to the mix.
Shake Your Gumbo
I dig the riff driving this cool cut. This has a great groove. It's a fun tune that's decidedly percussive in nature. I am a big fan of the bass work on this piece.
I'll Take Care of You
With a prominent organ presence provided by Art Neville, this thing is classic old-school blues. The slightly echoey guitar work brings some serious magic, too. The whole piece just oozes cool. It's one of the highlights of the set.
Cream Them Beans
The bass and percussion interplay on this is so cool. The washboard is a nice touch. The whole track has such a classic groove and vibe to it. This is very much a vintage excursion. It's also a lot of fun. There is some great blues harp playing on the tune, too.
Cheatin' and Lyin'
The rhythm section puts in such a classy performance here. The cool jazzy, bluesy groove on this is top-notch. This tune has so much style and magic. It's another highlight of the set.
Mean Boss Blues
This has a real old-school blues vibe to it. Tab Benoit is back on guitar. Ivan Neville provides organ. Jumpin Johnny Sansone (who provided harp on "Cream Them Beans") is back here, too.
Blue Blue Water
Sansone returns on this cut. The number is more of a stripped-back acoustic guitar based blues cut. It's all class.
Don't Move My Mountain
There is much more of a gospel vibe here. This has plenty of blues, too. It's a killer groove that works so well.
Slave Driver
A slow moving, bluesy number, this is great, too. The whole section of the lyrics about New Orleans and it's slow recovery from Katrina is poignant. The guitar soloing later in the track is amazing, too.
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