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Little Feat guitarist Fred Tackett hails from Arkansas. That fact is written in every word he sings and plays on his solo release, In A Town Like This. In a musical coleslaw that combines equal parts blues, country, hillbilly, eastern, and western music, Mr. Tackett paints his soundscape with broad autumnal strokes that recalls Arkansas in August. The title cut begins with a Middle Eastern sound that disappears into a shuffling blues mirage. Accompanied by double bassist Domenic Genova and cellist Miles Tackett, the song immediately suggests an Ozark Bob Dylan singing a Robbie Robertson song.
The disc is populated with low-key songs replete with impressive guitar, mandolin, and bass playing. The lyrics are almost mystical, ranging from cautious anxiety ("A Blinding Faith") to lament ("Had We Known Better" sung with Lowell George's Daughter, Inara George). Mr. Tackett reprises "Honest Man" which he co- wrote with Lowell George to great effect. Listening to "Honest Man" one can hear exactly what contribution Tackett makes to the current Little Feat.
This is humid, dusty music, like that imagined as the soundtrack to a merciless Southern summer with no rain, just the promise of some.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.