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Little Feat

In his preface to a recent Little Feat retrospective compilation, the band's Paul Barrere wrote, "It's almost 33 years ago exactly since Mr. [Lowell] George came to the front door of the Laurel Canyon house I was livin' in, with that beautiful white "p" bass in hand, and asked if I wanted to try out as bass player for his new band. As most who know the story's end can tell you, as a bassist I make an excellent guitarist, and 3 years later--when I finally began my stint in Little Feat-- I would never have guessed that I would be here writing these liner notes to yet another chapter in the now storied life of a band that has been my life, and a true labor of love."

Truth is, there really is no story's end yet, and Little Feat have indeed led a storied life ever since they formed in 1969. From then on, their unconventional signature of earthy, organic appeal and polished, first-rate musicianship wrapped around eclectic and memorable songs--clearly delivered as an authentic labor of love--has been a lasting fixture on the musical landscape. As American as apple pie--and rock 'n roll itself--Feat's music transcends boundaries, a freewheeling fusion of California rock and Dixie-inflected funk-boogie. In the mix as well are strains of folk, blues, rockabilly, country and jazz, inventing a hybrid sound that is truly Little Feat's own.

That story is about to add a major new chapter--the 2008 release of Join the Band, a very special project in Feat's history. Keyboardist Bill Payne came up with the idea of a CD that included many things, but featured major Little Feat hit songs as played by a band that included Feat and some very special friends. When you have friends like Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Bob Seger, Bela Fleck, Brooks and Dunn, Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), Vince Gill, Mike Gordon (Phish), and Inara George (band founder Lowell's daughter)--you have musical treasure in your hands. Join the Band is going to make some noise.

Easily one of the hardest working bands in show biz, today's Little Feat is a seven-member powerhouse that ably carries on the group's tradition in both the recording and touring arenas. Their most recent studio album is Kickin' It At The Barn, produced by Feat-ers Paul Barrere, Bill Payne and Fred Tackett. It's named after the place it was recorded throughout 2003, Tackett's barn-come-studio in Topanga Canyon, which Bill Payne has called "Little Feat's version of The Band's 'Big Pink'," and which lent an invaluable ambience to the undertaking. In his liner notes, faithful Feat scribe Paul Barrere writes, "If music is a conversation between the players, then we are talking like never before...this has been truly one of the most memorable recording projects we've done. We started with an idea to write songs on acoustic guitar and piano, like the old days before computers and samples, and then let the band interpret the music."

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Film Review

Little Feat: High Wire Act - Live in St. Louis 2003 (2CD/Blu-ray)

Read "Little Feat: High Wire Act - Live in St. Louis 2003 (2CD/Blu-ray)" reviewed by Doug Collette

Little Feat High Wire Act -Live in St. Louis 2003 Mercury Studios2023 Little Feat's current personnel lineup has stabilized dramatically in recent years, so it's somewhat of a disappointment High Wire Act: Live in St. Louis 2003 does not depict those positive changes. Nevertheless, the 2CD/Blu-ray package does present an accurate portrait of the beloved band in its valiant (and largely successful) attempts to honor the legacy of the group in the wake of ...

Album Review

Little Feat: Waiting For Columbus Live Deluxe (8 CD) Box Set

Read "Waiting For Columbus Live Deluxe (8 CD) Box Set" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Aside from the Grateful Dead (and possibly Rush), there's perhaps no band that can boast a more die-hard fan base than Little Feat's. It seems that embracing a group with prime instrumental and songwriting skills, that authentically incorporates rock, country, blues and New Orleans funk, with some jazz and even fusion touches, that were the darlings of their top-tier rock contemporaries and DJs alike--and that for some reason never really got the popular attention they deserved--makes the embrace that much ...

Live Review

Little Feat at the Paramount

Read "Little Feat at the Paramount" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

Little Feat The Paramount Huntington, NY May 27, 2017 Little Feat was formed in Los Angeles in 1969 by guitarist and lead vocalist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne. In addition to George and Payne, the classic line-up featured drummer Richie Hayward, guitarist Paul Barrere, bassist Kenny Gradney (who replaced original bassist Roy Estrada) and percussionist Sam Clayton. The band's music crosses numerous genres: rock, blues, jazz fusion, southern rock, gospel, R&B, funk, jam-band, ...

Album Review

Little Feat: Dixie Chicken

Read "Dixie Chicken" reviewed by Sacha O'Grady

A lot has been written about Dixie Chicken over the last few decades, so there's perhaps not all that much more this listener can add to the discussion. Yes, it has another great album cover by the late Neon Parks, a painter whose name has become synonymous with the band itself. And yes, the LP found Little Feat at a creative peak, pulling off a collection of songs that are as good if not superior to anything they had done ...

Film Review

Little Feat: Live in Holland 1976

Read "Little Feat: Live in Holland 1976" reviewed by John Kelman

Little Feat Live in Holland 1976 Eagle Vision A band that has suffered more than its share of losses over the years--most significantly, group cofounder/primary singer/songwriter Lowell George, when he died of a heart attack in 1979 at the age of 34, but also the more recent passing of drummer Richie Hayward in 2010 at the age of 64, who joined the band for its second recording, Sailin' Shoes (Warner Bros., 1973) and became its hard-grooving ...

Extended Analysis

Little Feat Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971 to 1990

Read "Little Feat Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971 to 1990" reviewed by Carlo Wolff

The first time you hear the jny: Los Angeles band Little Feat, you might think it springs from the same southern loam as the Allman Brothers Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd. Listen a little deeper and you'll hear something more off-kilter and easily as distinctive, whether it's the complicated rhythm supplied by Richie Hayward, Kenny Gradney, Sam Clayton and Bill Payne or the weird, frequently surreal lyrics of Lowell George, the band's founder and guiding spirit during what many consider its ...

Book Review

Ben Fong-Torres: Willin’ - The Story of Little Feat

Read "Ben Fong-Torres: Willin’ - The Story of Little Feat" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Willin': The Story of Little Feat Ben Fong-Torres 298 pages ISBN: 0306821311 Da Capo Press 2013 Musically speaking, Southern California in the late-1960s, early- 1970s was the musical post-hippie equivalent of impressionist Paris in the late nineteenth century. So dense was the musical talent in the Los Angeles area, that reading any history of it would have you believe there was a Frank Zappa or the Eagles on every corner across the ...

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Out Now... A Big Feast Of Little Feat

Out Now... A Big Feast Of Little Feat

Source: Michael Ricci

Rhino Presents Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990, Featuring Studio Albums, Live Recordings, And Outtakes By The Legendary Group 13-CD Boxed Set Now Available Little Feat blended a wide range of musical styles to create a sound that’s as indescribable as it is unforgettable. During the band’s celebrated tenure with Warner Bros. Records it recorded nine studio albums between 1971 and 1990 that included such classic tracks as “Dixie Chicken,” “Rocket in My Pocket,” “Fat Man In the ...



Richie Hayward: February 6, 1946 - August 12, 2010

Richie Hayward: February 6, 1946 - August 12, 2010

Source: C. Michael Bailey

By C. Michael Bailey Drummer and Little Feat founder Richie Hayward passed away Thursday, August 12, 2010, in his current home of Victoria, British Columbia. He was 64 years old. Originally Hailing from Clear Lake, Iowa, Hayward would be instrumental in the percussion on scores of recordings by Robert Plant, Robert Palmer, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Ry Cooder, Warren Zevon, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, and many others, during his lengthy career. Hayward had been suffering from liver cancer ...



Little Feat's Richie Hayward: R.I.P.

Little Feat's Richie Hayward: R.I.P.

Source: JamBase

CO-FOUNDER AND DRUMMER OF VENERABLE ROCKERS PASSES Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward died Thursday night, August 12, after a long fight with liver cancer. A percussionist of endless swing, power and drive, Hayward helped found one of the longest running rock bands and was their anchor in their legendary live shows. He passed away at the age of 64 while awaiting a liver transplant. He last performed with Little Feat on July 11. Shortly after that in an open letter, ...



Richie Hayward, Founding Member of Little Feat, Dead at 64

Richie Hayward, Founding Member of Little Feat, Dead at 64

Source: C. Michael Bailey

Richie Hayward, drummer and co-founder of the influential West Coast jamband Little Feat, passed away Thursday, August 12, 2010 from complications due to liver cancer diagnosed last year. In addition to his percussive duties with Little Feat, Hayward was an important part of the studio scene over the past 40 years, contributing to recordings by Eric Clapton, Warren Zevon, Travis Tritt, Robert Palmer, Tom Waits, Taj Mahal, Barbra Streisand, John Cale, Buddy Guy, Arlo Guthrie, Carly Simon, Bob Seger and ...



Food and Music Fest at Shoreline w/ Little Feat

Food and Music Fest at Shoreline w/ Little Feat

Source: JamBase


Little Feat The Great American Food and Music Fest, a one-day event celebrating the rich traditions of classic American fare and music will be held at Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View, California on Saturday, June 13, 2009. It will be hosted by chef and Food Network personality Bobby ...


Performance / Tour

Little Feat: Join the Band

Little Feat: Join the Band

Source: JamBase

By: Olivia Ware

Little Feat Talking to Bill Payne is like entering an eternal past, a rare preservation of the peace-addled 1970s music era carried over into what he calls the “pop prism" of the 21st century. As a founding member of Little Feat, he is unabashedly sentimental, strikingly intelligent and he believes sincerely in the power of words, art and, of course, music. He has a loyal respect for the music community, which he ...



Little Feat Reaches Historic Heights in Chart Debut

Little Feat Reaches Historic Heights in Chart Debut

Source: All About Jazz

Forty years into an iconic career that has produced dozens of timeless rock classics, legions of fans through continued touring and generations of admiring musical peers, Little Feat has come roaring back up the pop charts with the release of Little Feat & Friends: Join The Band which debuted this week on the Billboard Top 200 Chart at #81. It's a historic moment for the band as they've achieved their highest chart debut ever. Executive-produced by Jimmy Buffett, Join The ...





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