Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little Feat: Dixie Chicken

Little Feat was formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1969, by guitarist/songwriter Lowell George and bassist Roy Estrada. Both men were former members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. The original lineup was completed with the addition of Richard Hayward on drums and Bill Payne on keyboards.  Their first two albums were “Little Feat” (1971) and “Sailin’ Shoes” (1972). The albums were critical successes but failed by commercial standards. 

The band broke up during 1971-72, but reformed with new members, Paul Barrere on guitar and Sam Clayton on percussion. Roy Estrada was replaced on bass by KennyGradney. The first album featuring the new lineup is the classic, “Dixie Chicken” (1973). The album is widely-hailed as their best ever and its tighter, funkier sound is thanks in large part to its new members.

The band produced two more excellent efforts with “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” (1974) and “The Last Record Album” (1975). Apparently Barrere and Payne needed to relieve Lowell George of much of his songwriting duties due to George’s escalating drug use.

Despite their increased popularity, Little Feat would never enjoy broad mainstream success. The concert tours that Little Feat embarked upon in the late Seventies rendered the material for the double live album “Waiting for Columbus” (1978).

Lowell George disbanded Little Feat in 1979 and embarked on a solo career. He died shortly thereafter of a heart attack the same year. Little Feat’s final album with George, “Down on the Farm,” was released after his death, in 1979.

Little Feat Publicity Pic

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