This Week’s Model — Leo Nocentelli, “Give Me Back My Loving”

Guitarist Leo Nocentelli helped form New Orleans band the Meters in the middle of the nineteen-sixties. The mostly served as studio backups on recordings made for Allen Toussaint’s Sansu Enterprises record label, a sort of Funk Brothers of the swampy south. As the Meters started working on some of their own music, Nocentelli was one of main songwriters, including claiming a credit on both sides of their 1969 debut single. That 45 was followed quickly by a pair of LPs. Around the same time, Nocentelli started working on solo material, soon recording most of an album across the first couple years of the nineteen-seventies. As things picked up for the Meters, Nocentelli shelved the solo album. It sat unreleased for decades, then was thought lost.

A few years ago, a knowledgeable collector discovered the tapes among the wares at a California swap meet. All spruced up, the album, titled Another Side, is finally scheduled for release in November. “Give Me Back My Loving,” a cut released this week, is a lovely slice of refined singer-songwriter folk-rock with a subtle funk undercurrent, akin to Richie Havens or Rodriguez. A song like this is worth the wait.

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