off-brand Meters

I just want to know, it seems like every sub-strand of funk music seems to have had lots of bands pursuing it - James Brown had imitators on every continent in every language, etc. Why not the Meters? Am I overestimating their success as a non-backing band outside the region? Were they that masterful at their style that nobody else bothered? Or more likely am I just ignorant of a whole strand of instrumental NO style funk? If so... SCHOOL ME PLEAS.

Apologies for the small-dude question. I need off brand Meters. Their first three albums aren't enough. Dose me. Must I deal?


  • To get things started I guess the 2000s high school funk band Mighty Imperials (later known as/part of El Michaels Affair, Dap-Kings etc.) were aping the Meters' first album very closely. But you can't blame them cause they were 16.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    I'd say, in the 60s when those Josie singles (and lps) came out, people heard them, liked them, but didn't really know what was up.
    60s AM radio produced a long list of instrumental hits, Meters, BT&MGs, Billy Larkin and so on.
    But to most listeners the groups were anonymous.
    For the most part these groups did not produce a lot of soundalikes.

    But mostly, I am guessing, it was Modeliste's drumming.
    Garage rock bands could cover Green Onions, but Modeliste's upfront off kilter drumming... No one was copying that, then.

    The caveat being that a number of Blue Note/Prestige artists did cover Meters/Lee Dorsey/Allan Toussaint stuff.

    Today I think every town has a funk band covering the Meters on the blues bar circuit. 

  • caicai spacecho 362 Posts
    LaserWolf said:
    But mostly, I am guessing, it was Modeliste's drumming.
    Garage rock bands could cover Green Onions, but Modeliste's upfront off kilter drumming... No one was copying that, then.

    That was my first thought too.

  • Thanks, I've looked at some covers but only a few - probably worth some more digging. I guess I was finding it hard to imagine nobody else even really played in that style (except if their backing band happened to be the Meters themselves... Nevilles, Toussaint etc.).

    But yeah that's a good point that Modeliste is kind of inimitable even to this day. Hence bar cover bands aren't really what I'm looking for (or what most people are looking for I'd imagine). I guess to broaden a bit, it's more like, artists contemporary with the Meters who were doing a similar instrumental, no-horn-section funk kind of thing. N.O. style optional but a plus. Minimal or stripped back, however you wanna call it. The quest continues.

  • finelikewinefinelikewine "ONCE UPON A TIME, I HAD A VINYL." 1,416 Posts
    not exactly what you ar looking for, but you might like Khruangbin

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,760 Posts
    Funk Inc. were a more polished version of the Meters...


  • man, there was a TON of this stuff in 90s/early 200s new orleans that fits with what you're looking for. and contemporary with the meters too. a lot of the 90s/2000s "off-brand meters" style recordings would be considered part of the jam scene today. don't really have time to dig up a lot right now, but here's one that came to mind (besides that Mighty Imperials, which i remember loving when it came out):

    and from the contemporary time:

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    Where's Harvey?

  • Resurrecting this with a bit of little-dude "Today I learned..."

    Drummer James Black, who I and the writer of this article and probably many others mistook for Zig Modeliste on Betty Harris "Break in the Road" and others -

    So yeah, the man had contemporaries with what I'd class as that very same feel, but not many! Damn!

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,761 Posts
    I thought it was the entire Meters band, drummer included.

  • Duderonomy - apparently not on that track!

    Lewis - that is just the stuff, thanks

  • YemskyYemsky 701 Posts
    Are you looking for stuff that sounds like the Meters or cover versions of their records?
    i think there was at least one other compilation. 

  • More like bands in the Meters/NOLA subgenre of funk. So, most likely from the same era (although as discussed there have been some decent 90s-00s funk acts in this vein), similar arrangement i.e. light on the horns, and crucially that NOLA style rhythm section.

    That said, imitations and covers is cool too, thanks for the link. Not sure how I feel about the flute and piano lead on the Rod Piazza Cissy Strut though. Turtleneck sweater comes to mind immediately.
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