Legendary singer Aaron Neville has performed at venues throughout the world in his five-decade career.
But when he returns to Phoenix to play the MIM Music Theater, he’s keeping it intimate, joined only by pianist Michael Goods.
“You can expect anything,” Neville says. “I call it my musical journey. We mix it all up. We take songs from different albums, the stuff we all grew up listening to and the songs I was singing back in the day.”
Neville has wavered between his solo work and his role in the Neville Brothers. His first single was “Tell It Like It Is,” which spent five weeks at No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1967. He went on to win Grammy Awards for his triple-platinum 1989 collaboration with Linda Ronstadt, Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, and reached the country charts with “The Grand Tour” in 1993.
Recently, he released his solo album Apache, which reflects Neville’s social and spiritual concerns. The words were culled from a poetry journey he started keeping in the 1970s.
“I’ve been writing poetry for years and years,” he says. “‘Yellow Moon’ was a poem I wrote and I turned it into a song—the same with ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Brother Jake.’ I can’t sit down and plan to write anything. I write on my iPhone because, by the time I would try to write it down on paper, the idea is gone. The phone is right there.”
Neville is planning on recording another album, but he’s not sure of the direction. Nevertheless, at 76, he still doesn’t see himself slowing down.
“I made it to 76 and I’ll make it to 77 and 78,” he says. “I feel fantastic. Like I tell everyone, age and numbers are just concepts made up by man.”
Aaron Neville Duo, MIM Music Theater at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.478.6000, mimmusictheater.themim.org, 7 p.m. Monday, April 10, sold out.