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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Aaron Neville - My True Story 2013

(Click on the Links in this colour to hear the original songs that have been covered on this album!)

Aaron Neville has one of those voices that is so smooth that the mere sound of his falsetto is guaranteed to melt you. He's been around a long time and at the age of 72 he's continuing to look back upon the music that shaped his life. With this first album for three years, and his first for Blue Note Records, Neville returns to the music of Doo-Wop. The twelve tracks that make up the album were hand picked by Neville and  recorded in the space of 5 days and a further 11 tracks were laid down, making sure there will be at least another volume of Doo-Wop Classics in the future. The producing duties for the album fell to Don Was (President of Blue Note Records) and Keith Richards (legendary guitarist of The Rolling Stones).

Neville gathered around him some real talented musicians for the project: Keith Richards played guitar on the record, as did Greg Leisz (Beck, Sheryl Crow). Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) played keyboards. Nora Jones’ bass player Tony Scherr was utilized. Featured on drums is George Receli, who has pounded the skins for Dylan.

With such talent laying down the music and Was/Richards at the controls they have actually made an album that sounds like it was cast in those early days of Doo-Wop.The album opens with 'Money Honey' (originally released by Clyde MacPhatter and The Drifters in 1953) and from then on it's a crash course in Doo-Wop, and Rhythm and Blues. 'My True Story', orginally performed by Jive Five, then it's another Drifters tune from 1958 - 'Ruby Baby'. 'Gypsy Woman' by The Impressions (1961) follows and then it's one from Neville's childhood. In 1952 he was 11 years old when The Clovers were Number 1 on the charts, 'Ting a Ling'. A rather simple reading of 'Be My Baby' that has none of the Spector Wall of Sound yet actually sounds a whole lot sweeter. Thurston Harris' 1957 'Little Bitty Pretty One' is next up and if you close your eyes and just fall into the song it's almost like being transported back to those late 1950's dances! 'Tears on my Pillow' (Little Anthony and the Imperials) has been well covered down through the years and again Neville just totally seals the deal with a cracking vocal. A third Drifters song, 'Under the Boardwalk' brings out the real soulfulness of Neville's voice. The 1954 single release by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters, 'Work With Me Annie' is just beautiful and puts a wee spring in the step. You get the feeling by track 11 that Aaron Neville really was inspired as a youngster by The Drifters because a fourth (and fifth) song that had Ben E. King on vocals is next up 'This Magic Moment' coupled with 'True Love'. The album ends on a high note as well with 'Goodnight My Love' originally released in 1954 by Jessie Belvin (that apprently featured an 11 year old Barry White playing the piano!!).

My True Story (Audio).

The Making of My True Story.

It's only February and I've already begun my pile of albums that will feature in the album of the year in December and this one sits pretty on top.

We don't really give ratings for the albums featured on here but if we did then this one would be at least a 9 out of 10!
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