Fred Tackett: Unknown gun goes large 

FRED TACKETT: Back home.
  • FRED TACKETT: Back home.
Little Rock native Fred Tackett, who will be performing Friday, Oct. 7, at the Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs, gained fame in the late 1980s as a member of reformed rockers Little Feat, but he has been recording for decades with countless acts. In fact, Tackett played on Feat albums going back to 1973’s “Dixie Chicken,” and also wrote songs. Tackett started out on trumpet and drums before learning the guitar. Along Ninth Street, the business/entertainment district for the capital city’s black community, he listened and subbed in bands. “The law in Little Rock,” he said, “was white people couldn’t play in the same bands as black people, and vice versa. Of course, I was in a band with two black guys and two white guys. We just were constantly getting in trouble.” Tackett gave fellow Hall High alum Robert Palmer, who went on to write for the New York Times and Rolling Stone, his first nightclub gig. At the beginning of Palmer’s 1995 book “Rock & Roll: An Unruly History” — a companion to a PBS series to which Palmer was chief adviser — he wrote of Tackett and another musician, “They were vastly more experienced than I was, and seldom let me forget it.” Tackett describes playing a “funky little place” on Little Rock’s outskirts with Palmer: “You had to play all the different styles. [Palmer] was pointing out how that sort of became rock ’n’ roll. Trying to make people in the bar happy. ... You went through different kinds of music and amalgamated them.” After getting “saved from probably getting arrested in Little Rock by going away to college in Texas,” Tackett gigged his way to Hawaii and met successful songwriter Jimmy Webb in a club. Webb, then 21, asked him to come to Los Angeles and join his band. By the 1970s, Tackett was sessioning with Arkansan Glen Campbell, who made Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” a hit. Tellingly, Tackett appeared on three albums with future Little Feat bandmates — besides recording with Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, Boz Scaggs and others. “Ninety percent of the time, I was playing acoustic guitar,” Tackett says of his sessions. Tackett toured with, and appeared on, a pair of Bob Dylan’s Christian-oriented albums — 1980’s “Saved” and 1981’s “Shot of Love.” Tackett could also be heard through the decade with artists as diverse as Dolly Parton, the Carpenters, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond and Lionel Richie. In the 1990s, he continued his Feat duties and sessioned with such heavy-hitters as Fleetwood Mac and Willie Nelson. About a year ago, he returned to live in Arkansas part-time in Eureka Springs: “I live in the country in Los Angeles, because I live in Topanga Canyon ... and I moved to Arkansas to live in the city. I can walk down to the galleries and the coffee shops. Where I live in California doesn’t have anything.” In 2003, Tackett released his first solo disc, “In a Town Like This,” on Little Feat’s Hot Tomato Records. “There’s just a soulful feeling about late at night out there in the woods in Arkansas, by the river and stuff. It’s hard to pinpoint; I think we captured some of that in the music.” listening “You’re in My Heart,” Rod Stewart “What Was It You Wanted?” Willie Nelson “In a Town Like This,” Fred Tackett



Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Stephen Koch

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Latest in Arkansongs

  • Floyd Cramer's country keys

    Floyd Cramer, who grew up in Huttig, became one of the most important piano players in the development of country music.
    • May 3, 2007
  • Dorough finds his voice

    From his beginnings in Cherry Hill, Bob Dorough knew music was his thing.
    • Mar 15, 2007
  • ‘Sunday Afternoon’

    Soundtrack album forges on without film.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Woeful

    • If the UA could get the SEC to stop all games if at any time…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Woeful

    • The Mizz loss was worse than getting beat by Louisiana-Moron

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Fear and wonder

    • this is real take it serious,my name is Caroline Smith from usa, who will believe…

    • on November 30, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation