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The Meters

Keyboardist/vocalist Art Neville launched his solo career while still in high school in New Orleans, recording many memorable songs including the carnival perennial “Mardi Gras Mambo.” Forming around Neville in 1965, the Meters original lineup included guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste. Their primordial funk sound was instantly recognizable, both on their own recordings as well as on many backing sessions they did for other artists. For example, millions thrilled to LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” as it zoomed up the charts in 1975, but few knew that it was the Meters who were holding down that monumental groove behind the vocals. Their musical peers were well aware of the group, however, and everyone from Robert Palmer to Paul McCartney enlisted their studio services.

Different from the frenetic, in-your-face funk of contemporary James Brown, the Meters perfected a more intricate, subdued instrumental approach. The organ, guitar, bass and drums each created lines that wove in and out with each other, trading off melody and rhythm roles seamlessly. Their initial recordings on the independent Josie label were tightly-arranged instrumental tunes that quickly won them a fervent following. With the addition of younger Neville brother Cyril on vocals and percussion, The Meters moved on from Josie and signed with Warner Brothers.

Despite high profile tours with the Rolling Stones and their celebrity superfans, the Meters never forgot their funk roots, even when covering the rock hits of the day. In fact, turning rock tunes into funky jams was their specialty, as evidenced on their syncopated takes of “Honky Tonk Women,” “Come Together” and “Love the One You’re With.” They kept the music of their hometown well represented with songs like “Fiyo on The Bayou,” “Big Chief,” “Jambalaya” and “Down By the River.” But whether they were laying down an extra funky version of “Hang ‘Em High” or one of their original compositions, their instrumental and vocal interplay is undeniably brilliant. All members continue to play in various configurations, both as the Meters and with a variety of groups. In the years since their initial formation, their influence has spread worldwide, from Jamaica’s reggae to North America’s fervent jam band movement. These Sundazed recordings capture the band’s Crescent City culture in full effect. The second line forms here!
Releases by this Artist:

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Meters
Format: LP

Artist: The Meters
Format: compact disc