(LMC logo designed by Glen Clark of Lafayette.)
LOUISIANA MUSIC COMMISSION
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600
Fax: 504-838-5280

Email: lmc@louisianamusic.org
Ellis L. Marsalis Jr.
CHAIRMAN

Bernie Cyrus
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Steve Picou
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Members of the LMC


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Aaron Neville: Musical Triple Crown Winner

Out-of-print Religious Album Re-released

 

August 1997 (Updated May 2001)

By Bernie Cyrus

There is little dispute that Aaron Neville is the reigning king of New Orleans Pop. In fact, it's no stretch to add the title of King of New Orleans Country to his persona. Aaron's Grammy™-winning duet with country star Trisha Yearwood and Grammy™-nominated album "The Grand Tour" ensured him a musically-diverse measure of success.

Aaron Neville is now on his way to capturing his third musical title: King of New Orleans Gospel. Anyone who has witnessed the spiritual magic of his annual concert in the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will agree that he undoubtedly deserves that title. His set with the legendary Zion Harmonizers at the Jazz Fest validates the magnetic presence he has with an audience as he sings God's praises.

Aaron commonly mixes-in his moving renditions of the "Ave Maria" and the "Lord's Prayer" in his many performances around the world. I recall a recent Jazz Fest when, during the Neville Brothers closing set, Aaron quelled the entire crowd with "Amazing Grace" right after a funky version of the Neville's hit "Brother Jake." A successful contrast only Aaron Neville could pull-off.

One of my fondest memories of Aaron's magnificent spiritual prowess was an impromptu performance at the Convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans. Aaron and I were invited to a meeting with the Sisters to discuss aiding their educational projects. Afterward, Aaron walked over to an upright piano in the parlor, softly played a few chords and began to sing "The Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue." The Sisters and I were spellbound as he sang with a truly angelic flair.

Now everyone will have access to the inspiration of hearing Aaron Neville sing gospel music. After selling-out the initial release of his album "Doing it Our Way," a contemporary meditation on The Way of The Cross with Father M. Jeffrey Bayhi, A&M Records, with Aaron's urging, is re- releasing this remarkable recording. Aaron commented about his reasons for putting together such an album by saying that, "I believe God wanted me to do this."

Whether it's Pop, Country or Gospel, no one does it like Aaron. Gospel music may be a genre he is only known for performing at Jazz Fest, but that will soon change. His dedication to God and his great community support exemplify his devotion to this genre. This record firmly establishes his role as King of New Orleans Gospel, where his name joins a pantheon of New Orleans greats such as Mahalia Jackson and Nolan Washington. Aaron has now reached Gospel heights recently scaled by the great Irma Thomas, Marva Wright and The Zion Harmonizers. Without a doubt, New Orleans is truly America's most musical city thanks in part to talented musicians such as Aaron Neville.

"Doing It Our Way" is available at your local record store, or write to:

Metanoia Inc.

749 East Blvd.

Baton Rouge, La. 70802

Email: PadreBay@cs.com

or call Father M. Jeffrey Bayhi at 225-344-0953

Cassettes $10, CD's $15, add $2.50 for shipping and handling.


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Louisiana Music Commission
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600 Fax: 504-838-5280
Email:
lmc@louisianamusic.org