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Little Feat

Though they had all the trappings of a Southern-fried blues band, Little Feat were hardly conventional. Led by songwriter/guitarist Lowell George, Little Feat were a wildly eclectic band, bringing together strains of blues, R&B, country, and rock & roll. The bandmembers were exceptionally gifted technically and their polished professionalism sat well with the slick sounds coming out of Southern California during the '70s. However, Little Feat were hardly slick -- they had a surreal sensibility, as evidenced by George's idiosyncratic songwriting, which helped the band earn a cult following among critics and musicians. Though the band earned some success on album-oriented radio, the group was derailed after George's death in 1979. Little Feat re-formed in the late '80s, and while they were playing as well as ever, they lacked the skewed sensibility that made them cult favorites. Nevertheless, their albums and tours were successful, especially among American blues-rock fans.

However, Little Feat weren't conceived as a straight-ahead blues-rock group. Their founding members, Lowell George (vocals, guitar, slide guitar) and Roy Estrada (bass), were veterans of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. George had a long musical career before joining the Mothers. As a child, he and his brother Hampton performed a harmonica duet on television's Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. During high school, he learned how to play flute, which led to him appearing as an oboist and baritone saxophonist on several Frank Sinatra recording sessions. He formed the folk-rock group the Factory with drummer Richie Hayward in 1965. Before disbanding, the Factory made some recordings for Uni Records, but the tapes sat unreleased until the 1990s. Following the group's demise, George joined the Mothers of Invention, where he met Estrada. Zappa convinced George to form his own band after hearing "Willin'," but the guitarist was reluctant to begin a band until he participated in a brief Standells reunion.

George and Estrada formed Little Feat in 1969 with Hayward and keyboardist Billy Payne. Neither their eponymous first album in 1971 nor 1972's Sailin' Shoes were commercial successes, despite strong reviews. As a result, the group temporarily disbanded, with Estrada leaving music to become a computer programmer. When the group reconvened later in 1972, he was replaced by New Orleans musician Kenny Gradney. In its second incarnation, Little Feat also featured guitarist Paul Barrére and percussionist Sam Clayton, who gave the music a funkier feeling, as demonstrated by 1973's Dixie Chicken. The band toured heavily behind the record, building a strong following in the South and on the East Coast. Nevertheless, the group remained centered in Los Angeles, since the members did a lot of session work on the side.

Though the band was earning a cult following, several members of the group were growing frustrated by George's erratic behavior and increasing drug use. Following 1974's Feats Don't Fail Me Now, Barrére and Payne became the band's main songwriters and they were primarily responsible for the jazzy fusions of 1975's The Last Record Album. Little Feat continued in that direction on Time Loves a Hero (1977), the double-live album Waiting for Columbus (1978), and Down on the Farm (1979). Frustrated with the band's increasingly improvisational and jazzy nature, George recorded a solo album, Thanks I'll Eat It Here, which was released in 1979. Following its release, George announced that Little Feat had broken up, and he embarked on a solo tour. Partway through the tour, he died of an apparent heart attack. Down on the Farm was released after his death, as was the rarities collection Hoy-Hoy! (1981).

After spending seven years as sidemen, Payne, Barrére, Hayward, Gradney, and Clayton re-formed Little Feat in 1988, adding vocalist/guitarist Craig Fuller and guitarist Fred Tackett. The heavily anticipated Let It Roll was released in 1988 to mixed reviews, but it went gold. Each of the group's subsequent reunion albums -- Representing the Mambo (1989), Shake Me Up (1991), and Ain't Had Enough Fun (1995) -- sold progressively less, but the band remained a popular concert attraction. On the latter album, the band traded the strongly Lowell George-esque voice of Fuller for female singer Shaun Murphy; this lineup went on to release Under the Radar in 1998 and Chinese Work Songs in 2000. Numerous compilations and live recordings peppered the next few years, followed by 2003's Kickin' It at the Barn, the group's first album for its own indie label, Hot Tomato Records. Rocky Mountain Jam arrived in early 2007. Join the Band, a collection of duets with Feat friends and fans, followed in 2008 on Proper Records.

After a struggle with liver disease, founding Feat member Richie Hayward passed away from pneumonia and lung disease on August 12, 2010. Little Feat continued to tour after his death, enlisting Gabe Ford as their new drummer. The first album of new material from Little Feat in nine years, Rooster Rag, appeared in 2012. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Rooster Rag

1. Candy Man Blues

2. Rooster Rag

3. Church Fallin Down

4. Salome

5. One Breath At A Time

6. Just A Fever

7. Rag Top Down

8. Way Down Under

9. Jamaica Will Break Your Heart

10. Tattooed Girl

11. The Blues Keep Coming

12. Mellow Down Easy

x

Track List: Rocky Mountain Jam

3. Rocket In My Pocket

5. Dixie Chicken

6. Feats Don't Fail Me Now

x

Track List: The Best Of Little Feat

1. Hamburger Midnight

2. Cold, Cold, Cold

3. Tripe Face Boogie

4. Willin'

5. Dixie Chicken

6. Roll Um Easy

7. Fat Man In The Bathtub

8. Fool Yourself

9. All That You Dream (Live)

10. Oh Atlanta (Live)

11. Hi Roller

12. Time Loves A Hero

13. Down On The Farm

14. Let It Roll

15. Rad Gumbo

16. Cadillac Hotel

x

Track List: As Time Goes By: The Very Best of Little Feat

1. Dixie Chicken

2. Willin'

4. Two Trains

5. Truck Stop Girl

6. Fat Man in the Bathtub

7. Trouble

8. Sailin' Shoes

9. Spanish Moon

10. Feats Don't Fail Me Now

11. Oh Atlanta

12. All That You Dream

13. Long Distance Love

14. Mercenary Territory

15. Rocket In My Pocket

16. Texas Twister

17. Let It Roll

18. Hate To Lose Your Lovin'

19. Old Folks Boogie

x

Track List: Representing The Mambo

1. Texas Twister

2. Daily Grind

3. Representing The Mambo

4. Woman In Love

5. Rad Gumbo

6. Teenage Warrior

7. That's Her, She's Mine

8. Feelin's All Gone

9. Those Feat'll Steer Ya Wrong Sometimes

10. The Ingenue

11. Silver Screen

x

Track List: Down On The Farm

1. Down On The Farm

2. Six Feet Of Snow

3. Perfect Imperfection

4. Kokomo

5. Be One Now

6. Straight From The Heart

7. Front Page News

8. Wake Up Dreaming

9. Feel The Groove

x

Track List: Time Loves A Hero

1. Hi Roller

2. Time Loves A Hero

3. Rocket In My Pocket

4. Day At The Dog Races

5. Old Folks Boogie

6. Red Streamliner

7. New Delhi Freight Train

8. Keepin' Up With The Joneses

9. Missin' You

x

Track List: Dixie Chicken

1. Dixie Chicken

2. Two Trains

3. Roll Um Easy

4. On Your Way Down

5. Kiss It Off

6. Fool Yourself

7. Walkin All Night

8. Fat Man In The Bathtub

9. Juliette

10. Lafayette Railroad

x

Track List: Little Feat

1. Snakes On Everything

2. Strawberry Flats

3. Truck Stop Girl

4. Brides Of Jesus

5. Willin'

6. Hamburger Midnight

7. Fourty Four Blues/How Many More Years

8. Crack In Your Door

9. I've Been The One

10. Takin' My Time

11. Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie

x

Track List: Sailin' Shoes

1. Easy To Slip

2. Cold, Cold, Cold

3. Trouble

4. Tripe Face Boogie

5. Willin'

6. A Apolitical Blues

7. Sailin' Shoes

8. Teenage Nervous Breakdown

9. Got No Shadow

10. Cat Fever

11. Texas Rose Cafe

Comments

Report as inappropriate
One of the most underated bands of the '70s and really any era. Stellar musicianship combined with the dripping soul singing and playing of Lowell George. This group should be in the Rock and Roll HOF.
Report as inappropriate
My cousin gave me the cassette of Waiting for Columbus at a friends house one night. Fell in love with that and have since listened to all their music. Love it.
Report as inappropriate
Love Down on the Farm. Miss Lowell George very much.
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One of the most unappreciate d bands of all time. As a college student in the early '90s I had some older friends who turned me on to Little Feat...thank s !
Report as inappropriate
I remember listening to the Waiting for Columbus 8 track in my '75 Dodge custom van when the album was released. Progressed to the cassette version and now the CD. To this day - it's impossible to tire of the performance. Crank up the live version of Dixie Chicken for perhaps one of the best live performances ever recorded by any band. Thx Little Feat.
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why does this sound like the Doobie Bros ???
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Roll Um Easy! So slow and easy.....
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Love them Feats
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♡ 4 many years!
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First time I Heard Little Feat, I will be listening to More of There Music. Good Sounds��
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Feel good music!!
Report as inappropriate
These guys were the REAL s**t man!
Report as inappropriate
I love these guys… I totally forgot all about them and was reminded here recently

I am very grateful to be reintroduced great stuff!
0:o)))
Report as inappropriate
msmithseriou s
Great stuff
Report as inappropriate
Love Lowell George. Love you buddy.
Report as inappropriate
8degreesn
I was at the Waiting for Columbus show in San Diego. One of the very, very best musical experiences this avid concertgoer has every seem. Every time I hear that album I feel like I'm 17 again and back at UCSD with the Feat.
Report as inappropriate
Was at both waiting for Columbus shows in dc. Best live record all time. Sweet sweet memories of a great collaboratio n of talented and original artists
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grrrrrreattt t
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Music and sound was great
Report as inappropriate
Yea you remember where you were when Lowell died.
Report as inappropriate
i saw the dead the night Lowell died in 1979 i remember bobby saying our friend Lowell George died ealier this eve i had the clssic bummer that eve.still get chills just thinking
Report as inappropriate
The BEST good time band ever! In a rotten mood??? Put on some Feat....make s you dance around and forget why you felt so bad!
Report as inappropriate
Willin
Report as inappropriate
really nice.
Report as inappropriate
Love, Love it!!
Report as inappropriate
Miami, 1977 - WOW!!

Report as inappropriate
plz welcome Little Feat
Report as inappropriate
What's better than this
Report as inappropriate
Feat don't fail me now
Report as inappropriate
I was fortunate to see a Little Feat concert in 1971. It was a free concert in the SIU student union. Probably 75 people attended. I am certain they were all affected for life by the great music they heard that night.
Report as inappropriate
cpt.blues
The greatest band ever! RIP Lowell. You went way too soon.
Report as inappropriate
I grew up listening to Feat. When you hear Bonnie Rait she would've fit right in when Lowell died. The band had a distinctive sound then.
Report as inappropriate
There is an unbelievably great boot leg from a show at Denver's Ebbits Feild from the early 70s when they were the WARM UP for ZEPHER!!! The M.C. ( maybe Chuck Morris) introducing them as " THE BEST f@#% ing ROCK AND ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD". The ecstatic crowed would than not let ZEPHER take the stage. I agree with u Chuck. SW
Report as inappropriate
medvez2004
Little Feat was awesome and Lowell George even more. To bad for the commenter, bobonnit. He must have went back a bought Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus CD's
Report as inappropriate
medvez2004
Little Featy was awesome and Lowell George even more. To bad for the commenter, bobonnit. He must have went back a bought Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus CD's
Report as inappropriate
saw them live in Orlando,Fl. 1978-waiting for columbus tour, probably best show I've ever been to, and been to many.
Report as inappropriate
This particular CD is one of the best ever made, period.
Report as inappropriate
Someone please tell me what the comments that tell you to repost what it says at least 5 or 10 times or something is going to happen to you. This is music, so WTF.... is it trying to accomplish? Who reposts?
Report as inappropriate
Spell it right FEAT.
Report as inappropriate
alohakghi
Another Zappa prodigy...lo v e and still miss, Lowell George. He recorded with Sinatra and died a very young man. Sometimes the fire is so bright, it flares out early. He left a wonderful legacy.
Report as inappropriate
DUDE WHY DONT YOU QUIT F**KING UP THE COMMENTS WITH YOUR STUPID S**T. ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD DO THIS.
Report as inappropriate
Love little feet
Report as inappropriate
Bob hates pretty much everything that has soul.
Report as inappropriate
Seriously, bobonnit, then you have missed out, especially live shows, opening up in Eugene for The Dead in the day DEAD FEAT, they are America's diamond in the rough,, do not give up the soul man and take ear to there live albums, or the beginning and feel the progression
Report as inappropriate
I have never liked them and now I have to keep giving them a thumbs down to get rid of them
Report as inappropriate
one of my fav's so tasty
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Belongs in the R&R H.O.F.
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Brings you up on your way down. Feat Lives !!!
Report as inappropriate
chris-smith3
Feats never failed me - their sound is timeless R&R!
Report as inappropriate
Amazing band!!!!!!
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