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      Little Feat in Portland

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      May 31, 2019

      Friday   8:00 PM

      1300 SE Stark St
      Portland, Oregon 97214

      Little Feat

      In his preface to a recent Little Feat retrospective compilation, the bands Paul Barrere wrote, Its almost 33 years ago exactly since Mr. [Lowell] George came to the front door of the Laurel Canyon house I was livin in, with that beautiful white p bass in hand, and asked if I wanted to try out as bass player for his new band. As most who know the storys end can tell you, as a bassist I make an excellent guitarist, and 3 years later-- when I finally began my stint in Little Feat-- I would never have guessed that I would be here writing these liner notes to yet another chapter in the now storied life of a band that has been my life, and a true labor of love.Truth is, there really is no storys end yet, and Little Feat have indeed led a storied life ever since they formed in 1969. From then on, their unconventional signature of earthy, organic appeal and polished, first-rate musicianship wrapped around eclectic and memorable songs--clearly delivered as an authentic labor of love--has been a lasting fixture on the musical landscape. As American as apple pie--and rock n roll itself--Feats music transcends boundaries, a freewheeling fusion of California rock and Dixie-inflected funk-boogie. In the mix as well are strains of folk, blues, rockabilly, country and jazz, inventing a hybrid sound that is truly Little Feats own.That story is about to add a major new chapter the 2008 release of Join the Band, a very special project in Feats history. Keyboardist Bill Payne came up with the idea of a CD that included many things, but featured major Little Feat hit songs as played by a band that included Feat and some very special friends. When you have friends like Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Bob Seger, Bela Fleck, Brooks and Dunn, Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), Vince Gill, Mike Gordon (Phish), and Inara George (band founder Lowells daughter) you have musical treasure in your hands. Join the Band is going to make some noise.Easily one of the hardest working bands in show biz, todays Little Feat is a seven-member powerhouse that ably carries on the groups tradition in both the recording and touring arenas. Their most recent studio album is Kickin It At The Barn, produced by Feat-ers Paul Barrere, Bill Payne and Fred Tackett. Its named after the place it was recorded throughout 2003, Tacketts barn-come-studio in Topanga Canyon, which Bill Payne has called Little Feats version of The Bands Big Pink, and which lent an invaluable ambience to the undertaking. In his liner notes, faithful Feat scribe Paul Barrere writes, If music is a conversation between the players, then we are talking like never beforethis has been truly one of the most memorable recording projects weve done. We started with an idea to write songs on acoustic guitar and piano, like the old days before computers and samples, and then let the band interpret the music.Feats story began in 1969 when songwriter, performer, multi-instrumentalist, and all around colorful character Lowell George, formerly of Frank Zappas Mothers of Invention, set out to form his own band -- at Zappas suggestion. The brilliant and often idiosyncratic George connected with keyboard master Bill Payne, and, along with drummer Richie Hayward and Roy Estrada, founded Little Feat. They were soon signed to Warner Bros., where Little Feat, in various configurations, would remain for twelve of their sixteen albums.This initial line-up recorded the bands first two LPs--their rootsy, 1971 self-titled debut, featuring the classic cut Willin, and its follow-up, Sailin Shoes, which added Easy To Slip, Trouble, Tripe Face Boogie, Cold Cold Cold and the infectious title track to their repertoire. Upon Estradas departure in 1972, Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton and Kenny Gradney (all still in Feat today) signed on, and the rest, as they say, is historyand many more great albums.Next up was Dixie Chicken (73), a New Orleans-influenced gumbo of greatness that offered up the signature title track and Fat Man In The Bathtub, among other delights. The two LPs that followed, Feats Dont Fail Me Now (74) and The Last Record Album (75) served up Rock & Roll Doctor, Oh, Atlanta, and All That You Dream, respectively, while 1977s Time Loves a Hero offered up, in fine Feats fashion, another unforgettable title track. That same year delivered the aforementioned Waiting For Columbus, forever memorializing their legendary stage prowess.During Little Feats recording of their eighth album as a group, 1979s Down On The Farm, founding member Lowell Georgewho had already been veering towards solo work-- met a tragic and untimely passing. Except for Hoy, Hoy, a 1981 full-length assemblage of rarities, live performances, previously overlooked tracks, and a new song apiece from Payne and Barrere, Little Feat disbanded until the mid-80s. At that point, their own lyrics from Hangin On To The Good Times Here, although we went our own ways, we couldnt escape from where we came, so we find ourselves back at the table again, telling stories of survivors and friends, proved very telling. Barrere and Payne remember that a chance jam session in 1986 brought them together again, when they were reminded of how deeply Little Feats music was ingrained in them.In 1988, the reformed bandwith new members Craig Fuller (handling Georges vocal duties) and Fred Tackett--rekindled Feats magic for fans old and new alike. That year, they released the lively reunion album Let It Roll, and the singles Hate To Lose Your Lovin, and, of course, the title track. The 1989 follow-up, Representing The Mambo, would prove to be their last for Warner Bros. Next came 1991s Shake Me Up (on Morgan Creek), after which Fuller departed the band. Little Feat added a new lead singer, Shaun Murphy, in 1993, and released an acclaimed studio album, Aint Had Enough Fun in 1995 (this time on Zoo). Shaun was with Little Feat from 1993 to 2009. Shauns feminine energy and powerful, seasoned, bluesy vocalizations certainly upped the fun quotient for a recharged Little Feat.This incarnation of the band was captured live to great effect on 96s Live From Neon Park, a two-CD set culling performances from multiple concert venues including San Franciscos fabled Fillmore Auditorium, Portland, Oregons Roseland Ballroom, and House of Blues Sunset Strip. Named after the renowned album cover artist whose striking images gracing Little Feats releases was a time-honored tradition (until his death from ALS in 1993), this live-fest featured all the bands best-loved songs as well as their contemporary material. The collection proved how vital they remained after all the changes time had wrought.In 1998, Little Feat released Under The Radar, their first album on CMC International. Spotlighting a confident and well-oiled configuration of first-rate talents, Under The Radar delivered a consistently strong set of songs including new Feat favorites Home Ground, Edens Wall, and Calling The Children Home. With 2000s Chinese Work Songs, also on CMC, Little Feats ever-evolving repertoire grew even more, featuring original compositions including Marginal Creatures, Eula, and Another Sunday, as well as vibrant covers of Bob Dylan, The Band and Phish songs.Released in October 2003, Kickin It At The Barn adds to the ever-growing repertoire on the bands very own Hot Tomato Records. Its something weve talked about doing for a long time, says founding Feat-er Payne of launching the label, adding, it gives us the chance to do what we want, and its there for everybody in the band and when its really up and running, for other artists too. In a perfect synergy of saluting their vibrant past and christening the untold future, Hot Tomato kicked-off in June 02 with the inaugural releases Raw Tomatos and Ripe Tomatos, each a double-CD collection of live rarities spanning over three decades. Tracks were culled from a wealth of tapes amassed over the years from both fans and band sources alike, with each collection boasting well over two hours of musicthey are only the first in what promises to be a Hot Tomato tradition of creatively mining the bands inexhaustible archives.Other Hot Tomato releases include the 2002 two-CD set Live From The Rams Head, capturing a 2001 acoustic show recorded in Annapolis, MD, and 03s Down Upon The Suwannee, a live recording captured at the Magnolia Festival in Live Oak, Florida. The title, which is also a tip of the hat to Stephen Foster, refers to the Suwannee River, which flows through the concert site.Fred Tacketts solo album In A Town Like This came out in 2003 as well, and plans are in the works to release discs from various band members in the future, including a second Paul Barrere/Fred Tackett album, among other projects. Bill Payne finally got on the solo bandwagon with 2004s Cielo Norte (Northern Sky), a marriage of the various types of keyboard, from synthesizers to acoustic piano, that is at times atmospheric, impassioned, and lyrical, and always intimate. Any CD that takes its inspiration from Yo Yo Ma,, Bill Evans, and John Fahey covers an elegant span of musical territory.Yet another present day acknowledgement of Little Feats rich legacy is Rhinos deluxe 25th anniversary edition of the bands monumental concert LP Waiting for Columbus, released in 2002 as an expanded two-CD set with extensive new liner notes and rare photos. When it first came out in 1977, Waiting For Columbus instantly became one of the all-time great live rock n roll albums, serving up bringin-down-the-house versions of a host of Feat favorites including Dixie Chicken, Fat Man In the Bathtub, Time Loves A Hero, Sailin Shoes, Oh Atlanta, and Willin. The new package restores the full 17-song sequence of the original concert, and adds seven previously unreleased outtakes. In October 2002, Little Feat commemorated Rhinos re-release--and the unforgettable musical event that inspired it-- with a benefit concert at Washington, D.C.s Lisner Auditorium, one of the two venues where Waiting For Columbus was recorded. An all-star guest line-up including Jackson Browne, Stephen Bruton, Joe Ely, Bela Fleck, Levon Helm, Sonny Landreth, and Billy Bob Thornton helped the band celebrate.Rhino/Warner Bros. also saluted Little Feats accumulated musical history with the comprehensive retrospective Hotcakes & Outtakes: 30 Years of Little Feat, a project initiated and co-produced by Bill Payne and Paul Barrere. Released in 2000, the deluxe 4-CD, 83-track boxed set features hits from all of Little Feats classic albums as well as fan favorites, alternate takes and hand-picked rarities from the bands eventful past.Time has loved these musical heroes for more than three decades now, as have legions of fans and countless fellow musicians, many of whom theyve played with over the years. Feats fabled collaborators have included Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Beck, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Lang, and Leftover Salmon (for whom Bill Payne recently produced an album). With the success of Hot Tomato Records, an endeavor powered by an inspired band of musicians continuing to create exciting new material both individually and as a group, Little Feat will no doubt be sailin into the future with no end in sight.

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