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In concert: The Meters Experience at Blues Alley

metersNew Orleans guitar legend Leo Nocentelli's talents were on display Wednesday at Blues Alley. (All photos by Josh Sisk/FTWP)

By Mike Joyce

Leo Nocentelli, co-founder of the Meters and New Orleans guitar legend, may not have turned Blues Alley into the steamiest place in Georgetown on Wednesday night when he re-ignited "Fire On The Bayou." But it was far and away the funkiest.

Nocentelli is currently touring with the Meters Experience, which is basically a vehicle that allows him to celebrate his Crescent City roots and prolific songwriting career while he and the rest of the Meters sort out their ongoing financial and creative disputes.

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The opening set was largely devoted to Meters hits, and though some of the performances spilled over into organ-powered, jam band romps, there was always evidence of Nocentelli's signature traits: the percussive, palm muted attack, the sharply syncopated low end melodies, the extended chordal chops, the juxtaposition of rumbling tones and bright, horn like accents. In fact, all those things came into play when Nocentelli added some odd meter twists to "Cissy Strut," making the tune's core riff even knottier than usual.

The author of hundreds of compositions, Nocentelli told the audience that he doesn't often cover the work of other artists save for Stevie Wonder. He then put his own syncopated spin on Wonder's "Jesus Children of America," with a boost from a tight rhythm section featuring keyboardist Albert Margolis, bassist Bill Dickens and drummer Adrian Harpham. Throughout the show, Dickens, on seven string electric bass, was particularly impressive. He contributed everything from accelerated, slap-thumb funk solos to lightly fingered interludes while handling a guitar neck roughly the size of a two by four.

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By Click Track  |  August 12, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Leo Nocentelli, The Meters  
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