Ticket Stub: The Neville Brothers in San Francisco, February ’89

Written by Music, Ticket Stub

In our last Ticket Stub, I pointed you at a killer Dr. John concert from 1978. Two weeks later, I’m still stuck in New Orleans — spiritually speaking, anyway.

For 1989’s Yellow Moon, the Neville Brothers hooked up with Daniel Lanois, who produced and played on the record, bringing along his protege Malcolm Burn and drafting special guests you might expect (the Dirty Dozen Brass Band) or might not (Brian Eno). The result was the Nevilles’ best-selling (and best-reviewed) set in years — and not only did it reinvigorate their career, but it helped add a little extra fire to their live show. (Not that it was necessarily lacking for heat, you understand, but still.)

Recorded on February 27, 1989, this San Francisco show captures almost two hours of the Nevilles in their re-ascendant prime, running through old favorites, New Orleans standards (“Big Chief”), nifty covers (“Johnny B. Goode”), and cuts from the new album. I wish someone had cut the cord on the chintzy synth that keeps bubbling up in the mix, but that’s just the sound of the era. And this version of “My Blood” is marvelous:

The Linda Ronstadt-abetting Neville, Aaron, has a new record out this week, and despite a near-lifelong disdain for the fluttery-voiced balladeer, I love it. Check out my review here, and listen to the full-length version of this week’s Ticket Stub show courtesy of our friends at Wolfgang’s Vault. See you back here next time!

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