Ivan Neville ‘If My Ancestors Could See Me Now’

Posted 21 Aug 2019 in Albums of 1988, Albums of the 80s, Dance, Funk Rock


Today’s Cool Album Of the Day (#1016 in the Series) is Ivan Neville, If My Ancestors Could See Me Now.

If My Ancestors Could See Me Now is a fantastic album by a fantastic musician, Ivan Neville. Ivan is a multi-instrumentalist and the son of the great singer, Aaron Neville.  It was released in 1988. I guess you could describe it as two parts funk, one part new wave and one part rock and roll. Toss in a little blues as well. It did well but nothing special, sales wise. It did much better with the critics.

Unfortunately something went bad shortly thereafter.  There was a fall out between Ivan and his then label Polydor.  Due to that rift you just cannot find this thing any longer. It’s a real collector’s item at this point.  Polydor pulling the album killed not only the discs momentum but also that of the artist. He wouldn’t have another release until 1995, a seven year gap.  The feud appears to have not stopped either.  I’ve seen YouTube postings of songs from the album pulled on a very regular basis. I’ve added a few to the playlist below. What them as soon as you can. Who knows when they’ll be gone?  It’s a real shame if you ask me.  This is such a killer record. (UPDATE: I do now see this album available via the streaming services.)

Luckily for us Ivan didn’t disappear during those seven years. He was busy playing with the likes of Robbie Robertson and of course The Neville Brothers.  He also is a member of Keith Richard’s X-Pensive Winos. 

“Not Just Another Girl” was the best known song.  Next up was “Falling Out of Love.”  The first two songs on the disc, “Sun” and “Primitive Man” were my faves. Special mention also for ”’Out In The Streets.”

There are some amazing players on this album.  Jeff Porcaro (drums), Steve Jordan (drums, percussion), Jim Keltner (percussion), Danny Kortchmar (sax, keys, guitar), Randy Jackson (bass), Bonnie Raitt and J.D. Souther (backing vocals) and Waddy Wachtel (guitar).  Ivan played bass, keyboards and added the vocals. That’s one heck of a line-up.

Ivan Neville, If My Ancestors Could See Me Now peaked at #107 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The single, “Not Just Another Girl” peaked at #26 on the Top 100 Singles Chart.

Ivan has returned with a new band called Dumpstaphunk. They smoke too!  Check them out.  Here’s their website.

— Larry Carta 

Track Listing

  1. Never Should Have Told Me
  2. Primitive Man
  3. Out in the Streets
  4. Money Talks
  5. Another Day’s Gone By
  6. After All This Time
  7. Falling Out of Love
  8. Up to You
  9. Not Just Another Girl
  10. Sun


  • Ivan Neville – Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
  • Randy Jackson – Bass
  • Steve Jordan – Drums, Percussion
  • Jim Keltner – Percussion
  • Danny Kortchmar – Guitar
  • Jeff Porcaro – Drums
  • Bonnie Raitt – Vocals
  • J.D. Souther – Vocals
  • Waddy Wachtel – Guitar

Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Dave (19 Sep 2012, 13:36)

    Did you look who plays on this? What a truly righteous band to back a musician up! There is a truly 1980’s bend to the sound what with the rhythm and keyboards sounding like OMD. Nonetheless, Ivan is an expert of the keyboard.

    I saw him in 1987 when he toured with a newly reformulated Little Feat featuring Craig Fuller as singer. Ivan opened up and played every song from this disc. Frankly, he was better than the Feat. He had the voice of Huey Lewis, without the white man’s burden, and an awesome pop sense. Thanks for posting

    • Larry Carta (19 Sep 2012, 16:48)

      Oh Yeah Dave, I know who plays on this!!! That’s why I mentioned it on the piece. What I love about it is that I fell in love with this album even before I knew. It’s SO good!!!

  2. Brian (19 Sep 2012, 17:59)

    Great album, I was turned on to it when it was used in a John Ritter movie. Ivan has a band now called Dumpstphunk that kills it

    • Larry Carta (19 Sep 2012, 18:19)

      Thanks Brian, I’ve linked all the Dumpsphunk info on the page but I admit, I haven’t really sat down and checked it all out. Is it as good as this? Thanks

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