New pressing of Meters guitarist Nocentelli’s first solo album now in stores

“Another Side”, the first-ever solo album by Leo Nocentelli, best known as the lead guitarist...
“Another Side”, the first-ever solo album by Leo Nocentelli, best known as the lead guitarist of the New Orleans legendary funk band The Meters, is out in stores(Michael Smith)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 9:09 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A collection of recordings once believed to be lost forever has been re-pressed and in stores.

“Another Side,” the first solo album by Leo Nocentelli, best known as the lead guitarist of the New Orleans legendary funk band The Meters, is out in stores and for streaming after a second pressing last week by Los Angeles based record label Light in the Attic.

The album was released last November and has since received rave reviews from Pitchfork (8.2/10), Uncut (9/10), Mojo (4/5), and The Times (4/5)). New Orleans native Nocentelli has also been recently featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian, as well as appearances on the BBC and KCRW. Another Side also made “best music of 2021″ lists by Rolling Stone, Aquarium Drunkard, Vinyl Factory (UK), Soul Bag (France), Slate, and PopMatters, as well as Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

Leo Nocentelli
Leo Nocentelli(Rick Olivier | Light in the Attic Records)

While, Nocentelli’s solo work is new to audiences, it certainly isn’t new to him. It was recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s Jazz City Studio when it was on 521 Gov. Nicholls St. between 1970-72. The recently-unearthed album showcases a largely acoustic, more contemplative side of Nocentelli, who is best known for his hard-edged funk licks. Backing Nocentelli is an all-star line-up of New Orleans royalty, including Allen Toussaint (piano), James Black (drums), and both George Porter Jr. (bass) and Zigaboo Modeliste (drums) of The Meters.

What’s remarkable about the album is that it offers a screenshot of what Nocentelli was channeling as a young writer and player and it reflects the sound of the era. Nocentelli’s nine original songs sound somewhere between Bill Withers and James Taylor.

While some recordings sound like solid ideas in flux, certain tracks like “You’ve Become a Habit” sound like they could have been certified hits in any era.

In tribute to another contemporary of the day, Nocentelli also lays down a very New Orleans-inspired cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” for the album’s final track.

What makes Another Side even more extraordinary, however, is the fact that the album—which could have easily become a classic in the ‘70s singer-songwriter canon—sat untouched for decades; miraculously surviving the devastating blow of Hurricane Katrina, only to be found 2,000 miles away at a Southern California swap meet in 2018 by record collector Mike Nishita.

Nocentelli has been a New Orleans music veteran since his days of backing up Otis Redding as a teenager and playing on hits for the Supremes, Lee Dorsey, and The Temptations. As a member of The Meters, Nocentelli was part of a group that set the standards of funk and changed rock-n-roll forever in the process, notably serving as an essential influence on Led Zepplin.

The Meters were enjoying their first big breaks on Billboard’s R&B chart: 1969′s “Look-Ka Py Py” and the now-iconic “Cissy Strut”—a Nocentelli original that landed in the Top 5 and, years later, was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame.

Nocentelli currently still makes music and resides in New Orleans. He recently appeared at Jazz Fest in support of the album’s release and the label says a tour is in the works.

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