Cyril Neville maybe the last great voice of New Orleans music. One of the four Neville Brothers, Cyril Neville was the youngest, born on January 10, 1948, in New Orleans, LA. Cyril picked up his love of music from his parents and his older brothers at an early age, but it wasn’t until 1967 (at the age of 19) that Cyril began singing professionally, as he united with brothers Art and Aaron in the outfit Art Neville and the Neville Sounds, playing the New Orleans club circuit on a regular basis. Cyril and Aaron eventually left the group, forming another outfit, Soul Machine, shortly thereafter. 1970 saw the release of Cyril’s debut solo single, “Gossip” b/w “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind,” which included backing music by brother Art’s new outfit, the Meters. Soul Machine relocated to Nashville, then New York, but both moves failed to help put the group over the top. It just so happened at this time that the Meters were looking to expand their lineup, and asked Cyril to join in on vocals and congas, contributing to such albums as 1972’s Cabbage Alley and 1975’s Fire on the Bayou, In 74, the Rolling Stones offered The Meters a support slot on the bands sold out tour if they would hire Cyril Neville to sing and front the band. His work as a human rights advocate does not stray far from his art. The joys as well as the complications and frustrations of growing up in the oppressed South can be heard through-out his catalog as a solo Artist as well as his work with his brothers – The Neville Brothers
Just as the Meters splintered in 1976, Cyril became enraptured with reggae music (thanks to Bob Marley’s landmark Natty Dread album), as all four Neville siblings formed the Neville Brothers group, issuing numerous subsequent recordings. In addition to his work with the Neville Brothers, Cyril has formed other bands over the years, including the Endangered Species Band in 1983 and the Uptown Allstars Band, while he also found time to launch his own record label, Endangered Species. Cyril also founded the New Orleans Musicians Organized (NOMO), which helps musicians who need business advice with their careers. Cyril Neville has issued several solo albums on his own over the years, including 1995’s The Fire This Time, and a pair in 2000, New Orleans Cookin’ and Soulo. Plus he has guested on various other artist’s recordings over the years, including albums by Edie Brickell, Jimmy Buffett, Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Willie Nelson, Tab Benoit, and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux among others.
New Orleans, LA, United States