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

From the ArkTimes store



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

  • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

    Also, Outlaw Music Festival, Little Tybee, Terminal Nation, Liz Brasher, Architecture and Design Network Talk from Jeff Shannon, Good Foot and more
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Brit Floyd at Verizon Arena

    Pink Floyd tribute band Brit Floyd brought its Immersion tour to the north shore Monday. Blame it on post-Riverfest musical exhaustion or the earliness in the week, but the perennial arena favorite played to a smallish crowd of 1,218 with a few rowdy flashes.
    • Jun 6, 2017
  • Riverfest 2017: flute solos, fireworks and fidget spinners

    Whether you had a good time at Riverfest largely depends on when you were there. We've yet to get a report of the attendance numbers, but eyeballing the crowds this year in comparison to last year's tells us the intermittent rain deterred plenty of potential Riverfesters.
    • Jun 5, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

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 »

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

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Fear 'It'self

    • Bill Skarsgrd comes from a family of actors and they were all born and raised…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bumbling Bielema

    • The person named Allen with the canning co just filed bankruptcy, if any one is…

    • on September 19, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation