Art, Aaron, Charles, and Cyril Neville, the Big Easy's indispensable musical family, have been going strong as a group since the late 1970s (and individually since the '50s and '60s). The band's output is notoriously wide-ranging and eclectic, often encompassing soul, rock, country, funk, and traditional New Orleans festival music, sometimes all at once. This 12-track BEST OF is a taste of the Neville Brothers' aesthetic, and includes some of their finest studio moments.
The disc begins with three songs from the Nevilles' '81 classic FIYO ON THE BAYOU-- the relentlessly funky title track, the instantly recognizable "Brother John/Iko Iko" (one of New Orleans's unofficial theme songs), and an updated take on the Meters' "Hey Pocky Way." (Art and Cyril were both members of the Meters in the '60s and '70s.) A handful of additional covers, including Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" and Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" (on which Aaron's gorgeous, angelic tenor soars), are peppered in among originals. Sophisticated, celebratory, and soulful, the Nevilles Brothers' music is unique, and this compilation is a fine introduction.