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The Meters guitar legend Leo Nocentelli’s remarkable unreleased '70s solo album Another Side to finally see the light of day

Reissues specialist Light In The Attic are set to issue Another Side, a previously unreleased solo album from Leo Nocentelli, best known as the guitarist for New Orleans funk icons The Meters.

Nocentelli reportedly made the recordings at Cosimo Matassa’s Jazz City Studio in New Orleans between 1970-72 and was influenced by the likes of singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Bill Withers).

The guitarist recruited a revolving stellar backing band for his material, including George Porter Jr. (bass) and Zigaboo Modeliste (drums) of The Meters, drummer James Black and songwriter/producer Allen Toussaint on piano. 

The record is said to showcase a softer side of Nocentelli’s playing, being broadly acoustic-based, and even featuring a funk-edged cover of Elton John’s Your Song.

However, despite the accomplishments of his collaborators and Nocentelli’s own reputation as the man behind the earthy funk licks of Cissy Strut and Hand Clapping Song, the record never saw the light of day. 

Indeed, Light In The Attic say the story of the recordings is as remarkable as the material contained within them…

“The album – which could have easily become a classic in the ‘70s singer-songwriter canon – sat untouched for decades,” says the label. “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.”

Nishita was browsing his way through the Roadium Open-Air Market in Gardena, California when he recognised the Sea-Saint logo on a miscellaneous box of tapes and decided to snap them up.

His hunch proved correct and he later established the tapes – which included Nocentelli’s Another Side, among many other recordings – hailed from Allen Toussaint’s New Orleans-based Sea-Saint studio.

Subsequent research revealed that the material had been previously moved to a storage unit, which had then foreclosed and sold its contents in a blind auction, eventually winding up in front of Nishita at his local swap-meet. 

It seems it was a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. Even Nocentelli had thought the recordings were lost to time, or Katrina. 50 years on, the album will now see a full release on vinyl, CD and digital formats.  

Leo Nocentelli

(Image credit: Light In The Attic)

You can hear the first taster, Thinking Of The Day, above and if you like what you hear, you can preorder Leo Nocantelli’s Another Side from Light In The Attic.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.