Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday To-Do: Little Feat

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Little Feat plays at Revolution Monday.
  • Little Feat plays at Revolution Monday.

8 p.m. Revolution. $25.

It was about 41 years ago that a quartet called Little Feat released its self-titled debut album on Warner Bros. It was an idiosyncratic amalgam of folk, rock and bluesy country that didn't sell real well back then, but over time has become recognized as a stone-cold classic that has only gotten better with the years.

The band took a turn in a different direction after that, toward a funkier, more stretched-out sound. But the great playing and songwriting remained over several classic albums released throughout the '70s. The group disbanded in 1979, after the death of founding member Lowell George at the age of 34.

They got back together in 1988, adding Arkansan Fred Tackett to the lineup. Tackett had written songs for George's solo album "Thanks, I'll Eat Here" and had played on several Little Feat albums (he and longtime Feat guitarist Paul Barrere play in an acoustic duo as well). "Let it Roll," the first album from the new lineup, was a hit, with "Hate to Lose Your Lovin'" hitting No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

The band has toured and released albums ever since, with a consistently incredible live show and a dedicated following among fellow musicians and especially among jam-band fans. In 2009, founding drummer Richie Hayward announced that he had liver disease and he wouldn't be able to play. The band's drum tech, Gabe Ford, filled in and became a full-time member after Hayward passed away in 2010.

Little Feat's latest album, "Rooster Rag," came out in June. It's the band's first studio album in nearly a decade, and it's a very solid collection of tunes, featuring four numbers written by Feat co-founder Bill Payne and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and covers of blues classics by Willie Dixon and the great Mississippi John Hurt, whose slyly dirty "Candy Man Blues" gets a funky treatment to open the album.

The opening act is The Villains.

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