🎡 AotW Aaron Neville: WARM YOUR HEART (A&M CD 5354)


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1Louisiana 1927
2Everybody Plays The Fool
Backing Vocals – Aaron Neville, Arnold McCulle rDrums, Programmed By – Russel Kunkel*Guitar – David Lindley Whistling – Linda Ronstadt
3It Feels Like Rain
Backing Vocals – Arnold McCuller, Bobby King, Donny Gerrard, Willie Greene Jr. Guitar, Slide Guitar – Ry Cooder
4Somewhere, Somebody
Backing Vocals – Arnold McCuller, Renee Armand*, Rita Coolidge, Rosemary Butler, Valerie Carter Guitar – Dean Parks Organ [Hammond B-3] – Robbie Buchanan
5Don't Go Please Stay
6With You In Mind
7That's The Way She Loves
Backing Vocals – Renee Armand*, Rosemary Butler, Valerie CarterBass – Jimmy Johnson (5)Tenor Saxophone – Plas Johnson
8Angola Bound
Congas – Cyril Neville Percussion, Backing Vocals – Bob SegerPiano, Percussion – Dr. JohnRap – Jason Neville
9Close Your Eyes
Tenor Saxophone – Plas JohnsonVocals [Duet] – Linda Ronstadt
10La Vie Dansante
Valerie Carter
Guitar, Mandolin – Dean ParksVocals [Duet] – Rita Coolidge
11Warm Your Heart
12I Bid You Goodnight
13Ave Maria
Arranged By, Conductor – David Campbell Soprano Vocals – Linda Ronstadt

Recorded March 1990 through March 1991 at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans; Conway Recording, Los Angeles; Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles; Studio F, Los Angeles; Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco; Skywalker Ranch, Marin County
Mixed at Conway Recording, Los Angeles
Mastered at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles

Entered the Billboard Top 200 on June 29, 1991
Charted 41 weeks and peaked at # 44
Issued on vinyl in Greece only


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Another Son

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I have just about every Aaron Neville CD album released, as well as pretty much all of the Neville Brothers CDs and some by Ivan Neville.

'Warm Your Heart' is a very solid album.

I especially like 'Louisiana 1927', which is a story song which, in my interpretation, uses the event of the 1927 Louisiana flood to suggest the divide at the time between black and white and the valuing of commercial gain over the lives of impoverished people, particularly black people. As Aaron Neville lived much of his life in New Orleans, which was greatly affected by the flood, I'm sure that this song would hold personal meaning for him. During this 1927 catastrophe, businessmen were instrumental in having the floodwaters diverted away from their stock and premises and into the previously protected residential area of the poor. 700,000 people were left homeless overall in Louisiana and 500 people died.

The backing choir on 'Louisiana 1927' features three women mentioned quite often on A&M Corner - Renee Armand, Rita Coolidge and Linda Ronstadt. It's a surprisingly strong choir. The fourth female voice in the ensemble is Rosemary Butler, (who I haven't heard of).

'Everybody Plays the Fool', the next song on the set, was a Top 10 hit on the US Billboard Top 40 charts for Aaron Neville in 1991, so many people may know it. This is a remake of the 1972 Main Ingredient hit. It's quite an OK version, but it feels like something is missing.

'It Feels Like Rain' features a Duane Eddy-style twang guitar played by Ry Cooder, along the lines of the guitar on BJ Thomas' 'Rock 'n' Roll Lullaby'. This is a familiar song, recorded by a host of other artists, including the writer, John Hiatt, as well as Buddy Guy and Maria Muldaur. It's a strong version, once again with a background choir - this time, all males.

On 'Somewhere, Somebody', horns and Hammond organ are prominent, as well as the male background vocals. Another good recording.

'Don't Go, Please Stay' is a quieter song co-written by Burt Bacharach.

'With You in Mind' is another song with the theme of rain. It features many of the ingredients on the other songs, including strong backing vocals.

'That's the Way She Loves' is catchy and includes some great saxophone work by Plas Johnson.

'Angola Bound' was written by Aaron and his brother, Charles. It reminds me of something that you would hear on a Neville Brothers album - they generally cover material different from Aaron's usual preferred genres.

'Close Your Eyes' is a quieter song and is a duet with Linda Ronstadt. It's not all that different in sound from the other duets that they have performed together, although it's not as 'pop' as their well-known hits together. It, perhaps, harks back to an earlier style.

'La Vie Dansante' is quite pleasant, but it's a bit nondescript - nothing exciting. It's probably the weakest song on the album. It's a duet with Rita Coolidge and includes Valerie Carter on the choruses.

'Warm Your Heart' features the male backing ensemble that, by the end of the album, the listener is very familiar with. I find it hard to grab the names of genres when I want to describe something - what would you call it? Slow Southern soul? - I'm not sure, but it's very pleasant.

The last two songs are 'I Bid You Goodnight' and 'Ave Maria'. 'I Bid You Tonight' includes only guitar, a basic drum beat and background vocals.

This is a very cohesive album. There is a consistency in style and sound throughout most of the songs. Perhaps three or four songs towards the end are a departure from the bulk of the songs at the beginning, but this gives you the sense that you've been on a bit of a journey from start to finish, which is good. For this particular genre, the performances are top-notch.

The highlights, apart from the general performances, have to be the choice of material and, very definitely, the unusual vocal delivery of Aaron Neville, himself.

'Warm Your Heart' sold over a million copies in the USA. This album provides a very satisfying listening experience and you're actually tempted to hit the 'replay' button immediately, as the last notes of the set play.
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