Little Feat is the classic example of a fusion of many styles and musical genres made into something utterly distinctive.
Their brilliant musicianship transcends boundaries, uniting California rock, funk, folk, jazz, country, rockabilly, and New Orleans swamp boogie into a rich gumbo, that has been leading people in joyful dance ever since.
It began in 1969 when Frank Zappa was smart enough to fire Lowell George from the Mothers of Invention and tell him to go start a band of his own. Soon after, Lowell connected with Bill Payne, which stirred up sparks. They then found drummer Richie Hayward.
They were quickly signed by Warner Bros. and began working on the first of 12 albums with that venerable company. The first album, Little Feat, featured the instant-classic tune “Willin’,” and the follow-up Sailin’ Shoes added “Easy to Slip,” “Trouble,” “Tripe Face Boogie,” “Cold Cold Cold,” and the title track to their repertoire. Paul Barrére, Kenny Gradney (bass), and Sam Clayton (percussion), joined up, and the latter two remain rock-solid members of Little Feat’s rhythm section.
1973’s Dixie Chicken gave them the title track and “Fat Man in the Bathtub,” as good a blues as any rock band has ever written. Their career to that point was summed up with the live Waiting for Columbus, truly one of the best live rock albums ever.
Today, Little Feat is: Bill Payne, keyboards and vocals; Sam Clayton, percussion and vocals; Fred Tackett, guitars and vocals, Kenny Gradney, bass; Scott Sharrard, guitars and vocals; and Tony Leone, drums.