First, his rendition of “Tell It Like It Is” has been responsible for more steamy moments since 1967 than full moons and power outages combined. And then there’s the fact that The Neville Brothers – Aaron and brothers Art, Charles, and Cyril – have been making hips shake to their sweet, funky soul sound since 1977. Now the man is about to turn the whole darn world into one great big, doe-eyed ball of smiling doo-wop love with his new album My True Story.
Check out the credits: co-produced by Don Was and Keith Richards. A core band of Richards and Greg Leisz on guitars; Benmont Tench on keys; Tony Scherr on bass; and George Recelli on drums. And a dozen classics from the doo-wop era that Aaron Neville has been waiting a long, long time to sing.
A fun listen? You bet it is. Almost as fun as it was for these guys to make it …
BR: I’ve seen some of the early interviews on My True Story and I get a kick out of folks who ask you, “Why a doo-wop album?”
AN: Yeah … (laughs)
It’s no surprise to me – I guess my question would be what took so long? (laughter)
I think it had to wait until the stars were aligned right and it was the right time. Everything I’ve done has had some essence of doo-wop – or that era – in it. It’s what captured my heart back in the day, you know? Between that and the gospel … and even some of the gospel I did had doo-wop mixed in it, you know?
Sure. I wanted to ask you about the beginnings of the project – and your production team. Who came first: Don Was or Keith Richards? (laughter)
Don did. Well, first of all, it was my wife Sarah, who got me in touch with Red Light Management and Marc Allan. I explained to him what I wanted to do and Marc got in touch with Don. I knew Don from when he recorded “Crazy Love” [Aaron’s version of the Van Morrison classic] and Trisha Yearwood’s “I Fall To Pieces”. [A Grammy-winning collaboration with Aaron.]
When I mentioned doo-wop to Don the light bulb lit up in his head and the first person he thought of was Keith. You see, when Don was producing Voodoo Lounge for the Stones, his hotel room was right underneath Keith’s – and Keith had “My True Story” by the Jive Five on a loop, playing over and over and over. (laughter)
Wow – imagine having a room under, over, or alongside of Keith Richards.
(laughs) Yeah, Keith’s one of the most down-to-earth guys I know – he’s very cool. And Don is, too. I’m glad he’s the president of Blue Note now. Don’s a musician first … he understands all of it.
Click HERE to read the rest of my interview with Aaron Neville over at Jambands.com