Little Feat – Same (1971)

LPFrontCover1.jpgLittle Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. George disbanded the group due to creative differences in 1979, shortly before his death. Surviving members reformed Little Feat in 1987, remaining intermittently active to the present.

Little Feat is the first studio album by the rock band Little Feat. It was released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Records.

The album was recorded mostly during sessions between August and September 1970. Its sound is in a similar vein as the band’s more widely known later recordings, such as 1973’s Dixie Chicken and 1978’s Waiting For Columbus. The record features Little Feat’s Mk. 1 line-up, with Roy Estrada on bass. It was the first of eight albums by the band before its initial 1979 break-up. The cover shows a mural, “Venice in the Snow”, which was painted by the L. A. Fine Arts Squad in 1970 in Venice, Los Angeles. In 2007, the album was released as a gold CD through the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. (by wikipedia)

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It sold poorly (around 11,000 copies) and the band never cut anything like it again, but Little Feat’s eponymous debut isn’t just one of their finest records, it’s one of the great lost rock & roll albums. Even dedicated fans tend to overlook the album, largely because it’s the polar opposite of the subtly intricate, funky rhythm & roll that made their reputation during the mid-’70s. Little Feat is a raw, hard-driving, funny and affectionate celebration of American weirdness, equal parts garage rock, roadhouse blues, post-Zappa bizarreness, post-Parsons country rock and slightly bent folk storytelling. Since it’s grounded in roots rock, it feels familiar enough, but the vision of chief songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Lowell George is wholly unique and slightly off-center. He sees everything with a gently surreal sense of humor that remains affectionate, whether it’s on an ode to a “Truck Stop Girl,” the weary trucker’s anthem “Willin’,” or the goofy character sketch of the crusty old salt “Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie.”

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That affection is balanced by gutsy slices of Americana like the careening travelogue “Strawberry Flats,” the darkly humorous “Hamburger Midnight” and a jaw-dropping Howlin’ Wolf medley guest-starring Ry Cooder, plus keyboardist Bill Payne’s terrific opener “Snakes on Everything.” The songwriting itself is remarkable enough, but the band is its equal — they’re as loose, vibrant and alive as the Stones at their best. In most respects, this album has more in common with George’s earlier band the Factory than the rest of the Little Feat catalog, but there’s a deftness in the writing and performance that distinguishes it from either band’s work, which makes it all the more remarkable. It’s a pity that more people haven’t heard the record, but that just means that anyone who owns it feels like they’re in on a secret only they and a handful of others know. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Roy Estrada (bass, background vocals)
Lowell George (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Richard Hayward (drums, background vocals)
Bill Payne (keyboards, vocals on 01. + 10., background vocals)
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Ry Cooder (slide guitar on 05., + 07.)
Sneaky Pete Kleinow (pedal steel guitar on 09.)
Russ Titelman (percussion, background vocals, piano on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Snakes On Everything (Payne) 3.08
02. Strawberry Flats (Payne/George) 2.25
03. Truck Stop Girl (Payne/George) 2.32
04. Brides Of Jesus (Payne/George) 3.23
05. Willin’ (George) 2.25
06. Hamburger Midnight (George/Estrada) 2.32
07. Forty-Four Blues / How Many More Years (Sykes/Burnett) 6.32
08. Crack In Your Door (George) 2.19
09. I’ve Been The One (George) 2.24
10. Takin’ My Time (Payne) 3.50
11. Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie (Payne/George) 1.57

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Lowell Thomas George (April 13, 1945 – June 29, 1979)

Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus (1978/2002)

frontcover1Waiting for Columbus is the first live album by the band Little Feat. The album was recorded during seven performances in 1977. The first four shows were held at the Rainbow Theatre in London on August 1–4, 1977. The final three shows were recorded in George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium on August 8–10 that same summer in Washington, D.C. Local Washington radio personality Don “Cerphe” Colwell can be heard leading the audience in a “F-E-A-T” spellout in between the first (“Join the Band”) and second (“Fat Man in the Bathtub”) tracks.

The band were backed by the Tower of Power horn section with whom they had recorded in previous studio sessions.[citation needed] The result was one of their biggest selling albums.

Many of their more well-known songs were either re-worked or extended. For instance, one of their signature songs, “Dixie Chicken”, was heavily extended to include a lengthy piano solo by keyboardist Bill Payne, a Dixieland horn arrangement and finally a dual guitar jam between the band’s two guitarists, Lowell George and Paul Barrere. In some cases, songs such as “Rocket In My Pocket” and “Mercenary Territory” were re-worked to include the horn section, and Little Feat additionally covered such tunes as “Don’t Bogart That Joint” and “On Your Way Down”. Former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor makes a guest appearance playing slide guitar on “A Apolitical Blues”.

The band recorded and mixed enough material from these performances for a triple LP, but for marketing reasons kept it to a double album. Three of the unused tracks were included on their 1981 album Hoy-Hoy!. All were eventually released on the 2002 “Deluxe edition” CD. (by wikipedia)

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Little Feat was one of the legendary live bands of the ’70s, showered with praise by not only their small, fiercely dedicated cult of fans, but such fellow musicians as Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, and Jimmy Page. Given all that acclaim, it only made sense for the group to cut a live album. Unfortunately, they waited until 1977, when the group had entered its decline, but as the double-album Waiting for Columbus proves, Little Feat in its decline was still pretty great. Certainly, the group is far more inspired on stage than they were in the studio after 1975 – just compare “All That You Dream,” “Oh Atlanta,” “Old Folks’ Boogie,” “Time Loves a Hero,” and “Mercenary Territory” here to the cuts on The Last Record Album and Time Loves a Hero. The versions on Waiting are full-bodied and fully-realized, putting the studio cuts to shame. Early classics like “Fat Man in the Bathtub” and “Tripe Face Boogie” aren’t as revelatory, but it’s still a pleasure to hear a great band run through their best songs, stretching them out and finding new quirks within them. If there are any flaws with Waiting for Columbus, it’s that the Feat do a little bit too much stretching, veering toward excessive jamming on occasion – and that mildly fuzzy focus is really the only way you’d be able to tell that this is a great live band recorded slightly after their prime. Even so, there’s much to savor on Waiting for Columbus, one of the great live albums of its era, thanks to rich performances that prove Little Feat were one of the great live bands of their time. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This is the deluxe edition from 2002.

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Personnel:
Paul Barrere (guitar, vocals)
Sam Clayton (percussion, vocals)
Lowell George (vocals, guitar)
Kenny Gradney (bass)
Richard Hayward (drums, vocals)
Bill Payne (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
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Michael McDonald (background vocals on 26.)
Patrick Simmons (background vocals on 26.)
Mick Taylor (slide guitar on 15.)
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The Tower of Power horn section:
Greg Adams (trumpet)
Emilio Castillo (saxophone)
Mic Gillette (trombone, trumpet)
Stephen “Doc” Kupka (saxophone)
Lenny Pickett (saxophone, clarinet on 06.)

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Tracklist:

The original album:
01. Join The Band (Traditional)  1,54
02. Fat Man In The Bathtub (George) 4.54
03. All That You Dream (Payne/Barrere) 4.29
04. Oh Atlanta (Payne) 4.20
05. Old Folk’s Boogie (G.Barrere/P.Barrere) 4.27
06. Dixie Chicken (George/Kibbee) 8.58
07. Tripe Face Boogie (Payne/Hayward) 7.10
08. Rocket In My Pocket (George) 3.58
09. Time Loves A Hero (Payne/Gradney/Barrere) 4.20
10. Day Or Night (Payne/Tate) 5.31
11. Mercenary Territory (E.George/L.George/Hayward) 4.37
12. Spanish Moon (George) 5.36
13. Willin’ (George) 4.42
14. Don’t Bogart That Joint (Ingber/Wagner) 1.02
15. A Apolitical Blues (George) 3.51
16. Sailin’ Shoes (George)
17. Feats Don’t Fail Me Now (George/Kibbee/Barrere) 5.35
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Previously unissued outtakes:
18. One Love Stand (Payne/Gradney/Barrere) 4.27
19. Rock And Roll Doctor (George/Kibbee) 4.17
20. Skin It Back (Barrere) 5.40
21. On Your Way Down (Toussaint) 6.26
22. Walkin All Night (Payne/Barrere) 4.13
23. Cold, Cold, Cold (George) 5:19
24. Day At The Dog Races (Payne/Gradney/Barrere/Hayward/Clayton) 12.12
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Outtakes first issued on “Hoy-Hoy!”:
25. Skin It Back (Barrere) 4.41
26. Red Streamliner (Payne/Tate) 5.00
27. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (George) 4.12

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