Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Meters- Cissy Strut

I heard local drummer Peter Luscombe talking about this song on 3RRR the other day, he was talking about the career of drummer Joseph Ziggy Modeliste who played drums with The Meters which was New Orleans crack session unit in the late 1960's and into the 1970's. You can compare them along the same lines as Booker T and The MG's in Memphis, the Hi rhythm section and the Muscle shoals players. The Meters had a distinctive sound, purveyors of funk but with a difference, the New Orleans difference. The band had a sound that borrowed somewhat of the dynamics of James Brown, a syncopated rhythm with a repetitive melody, the emphasis being on the groove. What made the Meters stand out was their syncopated drum sound, full of stops and starts and jagged turns a real second line groove was in place and from that beginning the insistent riffing of keys and guitars.

The Meters had started out in 1965 with Art Neville of the famous Neville Brothers family on keyboards, guitarist Leo Noncentelli, bassist George Porter Jr and drummer Ziggy Modeliste, they were later joined by Cyril Neville. They soon became the house band for Allen Toussaint and his Sansu record label, their familiar sound can be heard on Lee Dorsey's Working In A Coalmine. In 1969 they headed in the studio to record the album The Meters which included Cissy Strut which was released as a single and reached the U.S pop and R&B charts. They continued to release records on a consistent basis but never matched the success of their earlier records. They also continued to play sessions including their brilliant work on Labelle's Lady Marmalade and Robert Palmer's Sneaking Sally Through The Alley.

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