The Neville Brothers’ Tipitina’s 1977 Recordings Surface

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Two rare The Neville Brothers live recordings taped at Tipitina’s in the band’s hometown of New Orleans have surfaced. Randy Bayers of Funk It has shared soundboard audio of The Neville Brothers’ performances on November 12 and 26, 1977 in MP3 and FLAC (11/12 and 11/26) formats.

The release of these recordings come on the eve of the 50th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which spans April 25 – May 5. Formed in 1977 by brothers Art, Aaron, Cyril and Charles; The Neville Brothers closed out Jazz Fest for a span of 15 consecutive years. Here’s what Bayers wrote about the soundboard recordings:

Happy Jazz Fest 50! Here are some very rare audio recordings of The Neville Brothers on their home turf, live and raw, early in their career. I’m talking about 5 and a half hours of pristine soundboards! These are revelatory recordings and absolute gems with just the right amount of analog hiss. There are jams, ballads, jazzy work outs, fierce soul, hushed doo wop, and New Orleans rock n roll stompers. It’s a pleasure to find treasures like this and put them out into the world for others to enjoy!

While the musicians who joined the four Neville Brothers for their Tipitina’s performances in 1977 haven’t been fully confirmed, they were accompanied by Gerald Tillman on organ at both shows. The band mixed a selection of originals with plenty of covers including Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Shake Rattle & Roll” by Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Cliff’s “Sitting In Limbo.” Big Chief Jolly made guest appearances each night. Listen to a few samples of the November 26, 1977 recording below:

Hey Pocky A-Way w/ I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home), Cisco Kid, It’s Your Thing & More

Junco Partner (w/ Big Chief Jolly)

Setlists

November 12, 1977

Set One: (Fades In) Don’t Push The Button > Jam, Fly Like An Eagle, Sitting In Limbo, Baby What Do You Want Me To Do, The Greatest Love, Instrumental, Tell It Like It Is, Africa

Set Two: (Fades In) A Night In Tunisia, Be My Lady, Fiyo On The Bayou > Ain’t No Use tease > Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), All These Things, Fever, Woman’s Gotta Have It > Love Ballad > Woman’s Gotta Have It, Here Dey Come Meet The Boys On The Battlefront (w/ Big Chief Jolly & The Wild Tchoupitoulas)

Set Three: Instrumental, Shake Rattle & Roll, Sitting In Limbo, Hey Pocky A-Way

November 26, 1977

Set One: Shake Rattle & Roll, I’m Leaving It Up To You, Momma Don’t Allow No Get Down Funky Round Here > Jam, Fly Like An Eagle, //Hey Pocky A-Way

Set Two: Down By The Riverside, All Over Again, Tell It Like It Is, Cabbage Alley, Junco Partner, //Little Schoolboy jam/ending, The Greatest Love, Sitting In Limbo, Be My Lady, Baby What Do You Want Me To Do, Stormy Monday

Set Three: Fiyo On The Bayou, Arianne, Fever, All These Things, Instrumental, This Is My Story, A Night In Tunisia