Little Feat

Little Feat is an American rock band formed in 1969 by singer-songwriter Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in Los Angeles, California. Known for their eclectic blend of rock, blues, funk, jazz, country, and R&B, Little Feat has cultivated a devoted following with their distinctive sound, masterful musicianship, and dynamic live performances.

Full disclosure, I love this band. They really deserved more recognition than they got. How they weren't bigger than contemporaries like the Eagles baffles me.

Timeline of Career Highlights

  1. 1969: Little Feat is formed by Lowell George and Bill Payne.
  2. 1971: Release their self-titled debut album “Little Feat”, featuring the song "Willin'."
  3. 1972: Release “Sailin' Shoes”, marking the beginning of their collaboration with producer Ted Templeman.
  4. 1973: Release “Dixie Chicken”, often considered their landmark album.
  5. 1975: Release “The Last Record Album”, featuring songs like "All That You Dream."
  6. 1977: Release “Time Loves a Hero” and the live album “Waiting for Columbus”, acclaimed as one of the greatest live rock albums.
  7. 1979: Lowell George passes away, leading to the band's temporary disbandment.
  8. 1987: Little Feat reforms with new members and releases “Let It Roll”, achieving commercial success.
  9. 2020: Continue to tour and record, maintaining a loyal fan base and influence in the music industry.

Albums and Discography

1. Notable Studio Albums

  1. “Little Feat” (1971)
  2. “Sailin' Shoes” (1972)
  3. “Dixie Chicken” (1973)
  4. “Feats Don't Fail Me Now” (1974)
  5. “The Last Record Album” (1975)
  6. “Time Loves a Hero” (1977)
  7. “Down on the Farm” (1979)
  8. “Let It Roll” (1988)
  9. “Representing the Mambo” (1990)
  10. “Shake Me Up” (1991)
  11. “Ain't Had Enough Fun” (1995)
  12. “Under the Radar” (1998)
  13. “Chinese Work Songs” (2000)
  14. “Kickin' It at the Barn” (2003)
  15. “Rooster Rag” (2012)

2. Notable Live Albums

  1. “Waiting for Columbus” (1978)
  2. “Live from Neon Park” (1996)
  3. “Extended Versions” (2000)
  4. Plus the cult bootleg electrif lycanthrope (live at Ultra-sonic studios) a benchmark for live performance.

Lineup

Classic Lineup

  1. Lowell George (vocals, guitar)
  2. Bill Payne (keyboards, vocals)
  3. Richie Hayward (drums, vocals)
  4. Roy Estrada (bass, vocals)

Later Members

  1. Paul Barrere (guitar, vocals)
  2. Kenny Gradney (bass, vocals)
  3. Sam Clayton (percussion, vocals)
  4. Fred Tackett (guitar, mandolin)
  5. Gabe Ford (drums, replaced Richie Hayward after his passing in 2010)

Grammy Awards

Scandalously, Little Feat has not won any Grammy Awards but has a devoted fan base that celebrates their contributions to rock and jam band music (including me!).

Famous Songs and Compositions

  1. "Willin'" (1971) - A trucker's anthem that became one of their most beloved songs.
  2. "Dixie Chicken" (1973) - A signature song showcasing their New Orleans influence.
  3. "Fat Man in the Bathtub" (1973) - A staple in their live performances.
  4. "All That You Dream" (1975) - A fan favorite that highlights their lyrical and musical depth.

Collaborations and Cover Versions

Little Feat has collaborated with numerous artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and Bob Dylan.

Their songs have been covered by artists like Linda Ronstadt ("Willin'") and Bob Seger ("A Apolitical Blues").

Quotes

Lowell George

I’ve always had an idea to mix rock, funk, blues, and country. That’s what Little Feat is about.

Bill Payne

We’ve always been a band that has walked to its own beat, creating music that feels right to us."

Gossip and Personal Anecdotes

Lowell George offered Frank Zappa "Willin' whilst playing with him. Frank said...

Listen, that song's so good you should start a band!

The band's breakup following George's death in 1979 led to a period of uncertainty, but their successful reunion in 1987 proved their enduring appeal. I saw them in a small hall in the middle of nowhere and can tell you

they still got it!

Songs: Willin', Sailin' shoes, Feats don't fail me

Check out the video too...