As a founding member of New Orleans funk band the Meters, Leo Nocentelli helped lay the blueprint for modern New Orleans funk in the ’60s and ’70s, and he’s carried the torch proudly into the present.
Spare, syncopated, and dripping with sausage grease, Leo Nocentelli’s groundbreaking group The Meters defined New Orleans funk. Where Sly Stone and James Brown’s funk was wild, careening, and determinedly urban, the Meters were down-home and earthy. Their sound provided the basis for much of the funk and hip-hop of the '80s and '90s including many iconic samples. 2Pac, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, & Cypress Hill all lifted tasty Meters funk riffs to spice up their music. Playing mostly instrumentals, they achieved national attention in large part due to Leo’s signature polyrhythmic guitar playing, earning a devoted cult during the '70s. Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin hired them to play private parties; The Rolling Stones enlisted them as a support act for six months; and they served as the backing band for everyone from Dr John to Robert Palmer to Labelle. Leo has penned more than 200 songs, including the iconic "Cissy Strut" and "Hey Pocky A-Way. He has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Letterman, Jimmy Fallon (where he performed live with The Roots), and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Though not the focus of his live show on this tour, we highly recommend checking out his recently released Another Side, a gorgeous album of rootsy funky folk originally recorded in the early 70’s that was thought lost in the aftermath of Katrina.