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Playing poker with Cris Jacobs during a New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival a few years ago turned out to be one of the best bets Ivan Neville ever made.
The two went on to form an ad hoc band, Neville Jacobs, whose self-titled debut album is due out Sept. 28 with "Makeup of a Fool," a track that features Neville's father Aaron Neville on vocals, premiering exclusively below.
"After we played cards that night we started talking, and one thing led another," Neville recalls to Billboard. "We mentioned the possibility of maybe getting together and doing something." Pushed by mutual friend Joe Michaels, Neville and Jacobs eventually began trading ideas and writing songs, which in turn led the duo to hit the studio to record in earnest. "The first time we got together, it was like, 'Oh, this is cool,'" Neville says. "The chemistry was there, and we just went from that point and realized we had something special."
"Makeup of a Fool," meanwhile, was a song Neville wrote with Anders Osborne for the 2011 film A Little Bit of Heaven. "I know not a lot of people heard it or were aware of it," Neville says. "But it just fit into what we were doing with the Neville Jacobs project, so we decided to give it a shot and see what that song sounds like if we play it, and it fit." As for his father, Neville says that "it seemed like something that would be cool for him to be part of. He got in there and it took on a life of its own at that point. It was a really cool fit."
Neville says there were "a couple of other ideas" that didn't fit on the nine-song set and adds that they "may be the start of another thing." Neville Jacobs is planning to play a weekend of live shows towards the end of the year on the East Coast and hope to play more during 2019, but he demurs about the duo's potential to become an active, going concern.
"Our schedules our so filled up with our own groups and other stuff, so it's hard to say," he explains. "Cris has his own Cris Jacobs Band. I have Dumpstaphunk. We both have our main projects among other things we do. So this is just another little vehicle for putting out music, or to collaborate, and we'll see what happens. We're ready at any time to start the engines up again and create some more music for this project, but right now we're going to take it as it comes and see how far we can go with this."
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