Talk Music: Aaron Neville revisits his roots with latest doo-wop album
Sept. 25, 2013 at 4:25 a.m.
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Aaron Neville Quintet
• WHEN: 7 p.m., Saturday
• WHERE: Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive
• COST: $40-$80
DID YOU KNOW?
• 1966 - While working as a longshoreman, Neville recorded "Tell It Like It Is, " which reached No. 2 on the pop chart and spent five weeks at No. 1 on more than a million copies and has been covered by Otis Redding, Heart and many in between.
• 1989 - Neville contributed four duet vocals to smash album "Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind" by Linda Ronstadt. The single "Don't Know Much" reached No. 2 on the pop chart and topped the adult contemporary chart. The album is certified triple platinum, and "Don't Know Much" won a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1990. A second single, "All My Life," performed similarly on the charts and won the same Grammy Award the following year.
Whether a tremulous-tinged, falsetto or cabaret-singer style, Aaron Neville's unmistakable voice makes him one of the greatest pop-soul singers of all time.
He's been nominated for Grammy Awards in country, R&B, pop and gospel, and Saturday, the 72-year-old balladeer will perform at the Victoria Fine Arts Center.
In the music industry the past five decades, Neville has 27 albums under his belt and smash hits including "Don't Know Much," "Everybody Plays the Fool" and "Tell It Like It Is," which is also ranked as one of the top 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone. But this year was the first chance he's had to revisit his roots.
His latest album, "My Life Story," produced by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Blue Note Records President Don Was, features dozens of doo-wop favorites. The album has received top praises from every major music publication in the U.S.
With covers of timeless classics like Little Anthony and the Imperials hit "Tears on My Pillow" and the Drifters' "This Magic Moment" and "Under the Boardwalk," Neville gracefully croons with his signature style and utterly inimitable voice.
The album is backed by a top-flight band, led by the distinctive, propulsive guitar work of Richards himself. The other musicians include Greg Leisz on guitar, who played with Beck and Sheryl Crow; Benmont Tench on organ, who is a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; George G. Receli on drums, who played with Bob Dylan; and Tony Scherr on bass, who played with Bill Frisell and Norah Jones.