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Little Feat: Late Night Truck Stop

C. Michael Bailey By

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Little Feat: Late Night Truck Stop July 19, 1973, Ebbetsfield Colorado. I am not sure of the propriety of this release on Pilot Records. The Little Feat Ebbetsfield Concert in 1973 has been a famous bootleg since it appeared. Recorded for radio, Late Night Truck Stop represents a complete Little Feat set. However it got into commercial production, this set is an important addition to the Little Feat discography. It contains tracks from the first three albums and was recorded around the time Dixie Chicken had been released. The concert also contained a version of "The Fan" which was not to appear on vinyl until thirteen months later with the release of Feats Don't Fail Me Now.

Over all, the disc sounds like a well-recorded soundboard bootleg. The sound is superior to, say The Rolling Stones—the Unreleased Live Decca Album, but is inferior to the slickly produced Waiting for Columbus. What is translates to is as exciting a collection of live music as I have heard recently. "Apolitical Blues" here is virile and swarthy as opposed to the sardonic and sarcastic version that appeared on ... Columbus. "Dixie Chicken" is coupled with "Tripe Faced Boogie" and the album concludes with "Cold, Cold, Cold." This version of "Dixie Chicken" was, as expected closer to the studio version than that recorded five years later for "Waiting for Columbus."

What is good about this recording? The listener will hear Lowell George at his long zenith as well as that of the Lowell George-lead Little Feat. George's slide guitar figures more largely here that it would later. This is the truly organic Little Feat, where Bill Payne and Paul Barrere had begun to exert some creative muscle just prior to pissing off George and ultimately taking over the band. This is a superb historic document, illustrating the growth of the band. Compared to Waiting for Columbus, it is rawer, hungrier. Listening to Late Night Truck Stop makes me long for The Complete Waiting for Columbus.

Track Listing:

Disc 1:Apolitical Blues; Two Trains; Got No Shadow; The Fan; Texas Rose Caf

Personnel: Lowell George: Guitar, Vocals; Paul Barrere: Guitar, Vocals; Kenny Gradney: Bass, Vocals; Bill Payne: Keyboards, Vocals; Sam Clayton: Percussion, Vocals; Richie Hayward: Drums, Vocals.

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Pilot | Style: Fringes of Jazz


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