Neville plans return to New Orleans area

April 5, 2008 5:48:59 PM PDT
Aaron Neville is finally coming home to New Orleans ? almost.

The R&B singer, who bought a house in Brentwood, Tenn., after Hurricane Katrina, said he's buying a home near Covington, across Lake Pontchartrain about 40 miles from New Orleans. He expects to close on the property in the coming weeks.

"It's nice," he told The Times-Picayune newspaper for a story on its Web site Friday. "I can sit outside and watch the sun go down, then drive on in to New Orleans."

Neville was on tour with the Neville Brothers when Katrina hit in August 2005, leaving much of the city under water. Though he watched the disaster unfold from a distance, he couldn't see himself returning.

Now he says he wants to be nearer to his children. He hadn't returned until last year, to fulfill his wife's wish to be buried in her hometown, and he has visited family and friends in New Orleans several times since then.

The city itself holds too many memories of the life he and his wife, Joel, shared, he says, and the place he found is on higher ground.

"I don't want to run every time a hurricane comes," he said.