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The Meters

The Meters created a unique sound that lasted through the sixties and seventies and was reborn in the late eighties. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe, where they have become an institution.

The history of this native New Orleans band dates back to 1967, when keyboardist Art Neville recruited George Porter Jr., Joseph (Zigaboo) Modeliste and Leo Nocentelli to form The Meters. When Neville formed the band, he had already been a prominent member of the New Orleans music community for 15 years. He was still in high school when, leading The Hawkettes, he cut the 1954 hit single "Mardi Gras Mambo", which is still pressed every year at Carnival time.

After working with Allen Toussaint on some Lee Dorsey tracks, The Meters were told to lay down some tracks of their own. Between 1967 and 1969, they recorded four consecutive hit singles: "Sophisticated Cissy," "Cissy Strut," "Ease Back," and "Look a Py Py," which all reached the Top 10 on the R&B charts. Neville created a band that would rule the New Orleans music community for decades to come.

From 1971 to 1978 The Meters recorded five albums on the Warner/Reprise label. Cyril Neville, Art Neville's brother, joined the band in 1975 as a percussionist and vocalist for three of those albums, also recording the critically acclaimed “The Wild Tchoupitoulas,” which was recorded with Neville's uncle, Big Chief Jolly, the most celebrated member of the Mardi Gras Indians. Simultaneously, the band was widely heard playing on albums by Dr. John, Robert Palmer, King Biscuit Boy,Lee Dorsey ,Allen Toussaint and a Mardi Gras single released by Paul McCartney and Wings.

In 1975, the Meters performed at a party for Paul and Linda McCartney aboard the Queen Mary in California. Shortly thereafter, The Rolling Stones requested that The Meters join them as an opening act on their (1975) American Tour and (1976) European tours-over 75 dates were played between both tours.

After twelve years and ten studio albums, The Meters disbanded in 1979 due to business problems. The Meters have maintained an avid following of fans and other artists, and their music has been sampled by musicians around the world, including rap artists Heavy D, LL Cool J and Queen Latifah. The Red Hot Chili Peppers pay homage to them in one of their hit songs, and bands such as the Grateful Dead, KVHW, Steve Kimock Band, Widespread Panic, Rebirth Brass Band, Galactic and String Cheese Incident often played their music.

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Something Else! Interview: Zigaboo Modeliste, Co-Founder of the Meters

Something Else! Interview: Zigaboo Modeliste, Co-Founder of the Meters

Source: Something Else!

Joseph “Zigaboo" Modeliste, a funky furnace that once powered the Meters, has just released a tour-de-force project aptly titled New Life. It reestablishes, perhaps unsurprisingly, Modeliste's claim to co-ownership of the band's late 1960s/early 1970s string of R&B and rock hits—from “Cissy Strut" and “Fire on the Bayou," to supporting gigs with Lee Dorsey, LaBelle and Dr. John. Perhaps more interestingly, New Life also illustrates the broad spectrum of legacy sounds that Modeliste has both mastered and contributed to, above ...



Dr. John, with the Meters - Desitively Bonnaroo (1974)

Dr. John, with the Meters - Desitively Bonnaroo (1974)

Source: Something Else!

By Nick DeRiso Dr. John further defines an ass-shaking new synthesis on Desitively Bonnaroo. Even today, there's really no roadmap for the crazy-eyed co-mingling of R&B, jazz, island beats, blues, boogie funk and hoodoo whackadoo splashed across this LP, recorded alongside fellow New Orleans legends Allen Toussaint and the Meters more than 35 years ago. At the same time, the grooves here are so sleekly ingratiating as to be therapeutic. Bonnaroo doesn't aspire to the brash, edgy soul of contemporaries ...


Performance / Tour

MO'fone Plays the Meters 02/10 in San Francisco

MO'fone Plays the Meters 02/10 in San Francisco

Source: JamBase

Mo'Fone Plays The Meters at SFJAZZ

The Meters Hotplate is a new concept from SFJAZZ that features a different Bay Area artist each month, interpreting the music of their favorite jazz legend. This month, Mo'Fone pays tribute to The Meters for a pre-Mardi Gras bash.

Mo'Fone's unique instrumentation and lively sound has made them something of a local gem. Featuring a bari sax/alto sax/drums lineup with special guest horn section, Mo'Fone will pay tribute to The Meters, a band that ...

Jamey Arent
Eric Zolan
guitar, electric
Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra
band / ensemble / orchestra






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