Lawr’s post about the Neville Brothers reminded me of a great show I saw at the Bottom Line in NYC some 30+ years ago. The draw was the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a band of Mardi Gras paraders who made a stomping rocking record of parade chants that seemed, despite their lavish costumes, more organic and rocking than anthropological.
It was a show that had the whole club up on its feet, dancing in the aisles, strictly against NYC cabaret laws. Dancing against the law! Powerful stuff, like Footloose!
What I didn’t understand at the time was that not only was the Wild Tchoupitoulas’s band the venerable New Orleans group, the Meters, but the band’s album was the launching point for the Neville Brothers band, who were the opening act that night. Dressed up in parade costumes, who knew?
I only put this together because a few years ago I went to see the Nevilles, who still perform a fine set of NO funk, too polished because that’s what the popular ear wants. And they talked about getting together 30 years earlier, which is when I’d first seen them at the Bottom Line, at which point they seemed like grizzled vets.
In part, because some of them were.
But the seeds of the Nevilles were born in the Meters, who included Art and Cyrille. Good god.