The Funky Meters

  • Friday 15 April 2011

Art Neville: keyboards, vocals
George Porter, Jr: bass, vocals
Russell Batiste: drums (joined 1989)

The founding members of The Meters — Art Neville and George Porter Jr — bring their Funky Meters to Auckland for one night only.

New Orleans is known for its gumbo and the sound of The Meters, the Funk Originators who put New Orleans at the forefront of the 1970s funk style with innovative tracks such as ‘Cissy Strut’ and ‘Hey Pocky A-Way’. The band’s self-titled 1969 debut LP became a blueprint for the decade of funk that followed.

Prior to their success as The Meters, the band were the young in-house musicians for New Orleans record producer Allen Toussaint playing on on hits for local soul legends such as Lee Dorsey.

During the 1970s The Meters built their own career and their own brand of funk with genre-bending classics such as ‘Look-Ka Py Py’, ‘Fire On The Bayou’ and ‘Africa’. Their musical gumbo has defined the modern New Orleans style that embraces the region’s multi-cultural heritage.

The Rolling Stones chose The Meters to open for them on tours of the USA (1975) and Europe (1976) but the group never broke beyond their cult status.

The band split in 1977, frustrated by their punitive recording contract with producer Allen Toussaint and New Orleans studio owner Marshall Sehorn. Art Neville joined with his brothers to form the Neville Brothers. The Meters then reformed in 1989 to 1994 with new drummer Russell Batiste who continues to play in the Funky Meters and in side projects with bassist George Porter, Jr.