Funky Meters1 songwriter/guitarist plays 8150 |

Funky Meters1 songwriter/guitarist plays 8150

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyLeo Nocentelli joins local boys Little Hercules for a full-throttle funky show.

Last year, those pioneers of funk, The Meters, received a Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Grammy1s. Credited with single-handedly bringing funk to the masses, one of their key members is Leo Nocentelli. Wanting to be on the cutting edge of the music scene, Nocentelli always has his ears open for new, tight sounds, which is how he found Little Hercules.3I played a gig at State Bridge, and they were on the bill, said Nocentelli. 3I heard them play, and I was impressed with what they do. They seem to be some pretty apt musicians. The thought didn1t come into my mind to use them right away, but we started corresponding and seemed to be going in the same direction. It just seemed like a good marriage from a musical standpoint.Little Hercules is sharing the bill with Nocentelli for several Colorado dates. According to Christian Basso of the band, they1ve been in an almost constant state of rehearsal, preparing for the shows. He1s delighted with both the opportunity and what they1ve accomplished. So, too, is Nocentelli.Why was Nocentelli drawn to them?3I think it1s the flavor, he said. 3Not what they1re playing, but the flavor. Something kinda interesting, it reminded me of New Orleans. It seemed like it would musically be a good accomplishment.3Christian is such a beautiful person inside. You can1t help but follow that. He1s made it easy to do it, he added.They will be playing primarily Nocentelli1s songs. He wrote 90 percent of The Meters1 songs. The band-mates grew up together, and forming a group was a natural progression for the buddies who all began playing music at an early age. Things really took off when he wrote 3Cissy Strut. He describes it as a synchopated feeling.3Back in O69<I1m talking a long time ago<if you listen to that song, it was the first time a pop-oriented song had the bass play the main melody, he said. 3I just told George the bass player to play the same thing I was playing. Now, you hear it all the time. But back then, it was taboo. Very unique at the time.He never dreamed 3Cissy Strut would catapault them into the spotlight the way it did. It was merely a whim, unplanned. Now, many musicians use that concept.Nocentelli1s music has changed a great deal over the years, but it1s still true to his original sound.3The flavor has always been there, and still is there, the old flavor, he said. 3I1ve just grown, matured musically. Wehn you mature mentally, the music automatically matures, too. It1s basically the same stuff. Just like with people: Everybody still has hair on their head, but there1re no bouffants anymore. It1s still hair, but you do it different. So, it1s still music, but more personified.Nocentelli1s first instrument was a $2.98 ukelele when he was 8. The extra strings on the guitar intrigued him, and he decided to learn what to do with them. Music is important to him because it touches his soul.3Personally, I1d like to invite everyone to hear Leo and Little Hercules, he said. 3You1ll be hearing some magic. Please support this venture we1re going to give for the people. It1s all for the people, it always has been.Leo Nocentelli and Little Hercules play tonight at 8150 at 10. Call 479-0607 for more information.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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