Whether it’s his work with The Meters, collaborations with notable singers & songwriters or his solo career, the iconic guitar work of Leo Nocentelli has been heard on so many tracks & albums that they are too numerous to even list.
Nocentelli is most notably known for being the writer of The Meters’ “Cissy Strut” and “Hey Pocky A-Way” that are two of the classic songs that define the funk genre. But his strumming can also be heard in classics from artists including:
But before the superstardom were his beginnings in New Orleans, where Nocentelli played his first pro gig at the young age of 13. He started backing musicians like Otis Redding and Clyde McPhatter just a year later, while groups like The Supremes, The Temptations and The Spinners used Nocentelli for session work before his 18th birthday.
Leo Nocentelli founded The Meters in 1965 along with vocalist Zigaboo Modeliste, bassist George Porter Jr and keyboardist Art Neville. Their first album simply titled The Meters was released in 1969 and featured “Cissy Strut” along with covers of Classic IV’s “Stormy” and Sly Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song.”
Look-Ka Py Py came out later that same year and their third album Struttin’ hit shelves just a few months later in June 1970 that featured their classic “Hand Clapping Song.” It took two more years for The Meters to release Cabbage Alley that saw a change in labels due to the bankruptcy of Josie Records.
The Meters then gave the world Rejuvenation in 1974, which featured singles including “Hey Pocky A-Way” and “People Say.” Before the original members’ official breakup in 1980, The Meters came out with the following studio albums
Did you know Leo Nocentelli’s Another Side was actually a lost album? In fact, the guitarist wrote the tracks back in 1971 and it wasn’t released to the public until 2021. Unbelievably, it took 50 years for the funk record to see the light of day.
Another Side includes the following songs:
Who knows what path the career of Leo Nocentelli would have taken if Another Side was heard by the world during the time it was produced? But, we think the legacy Nocentelli has in music would have still been cemented, evident by the guitarist receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame four times as a member of The Meters.
Luckily, the world can still experience Leo Nocentelli in concert. Whether it’s hearing songs off of Another Side or his many classics from his time in The Meters, there’s so much music of his to enjoy.
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