Little Feat this weekend. One of those critically acclaimed bands who have been long considered underrated and overlooked in the grand historic scheme of Rock.
Don’t know about you, but most everyone I know considers Little Feat to be the quintessential American Rock band – one of the best to have come along in the 1970s and one of the most enduring and well-loved bands we’ve had to offer.
I’ve seen them numerous times over the years; from the Troubadour to The Forum – Warner Bros. (their long-time label) was very high on the band from the get-go and promoted the hell out of them. And even though some press quarters decried Little Feat’s lack of mainstream success to not having an “image” – they were as much at the backbone of Rock during the 70s as any other major band was. They didn’t need to be pretty – they didn’t need to have a gimmick – they got on stage and kicked ass for anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours – and they were memorable. They just were that way. They didn’t need to try; they were tight – with a precision rhythm section, and the wry, evocative, heart-piercing writing of Lowell George. They had admirers, especially among their peers – they were the band other bands came to listen to.
So I don’t really know what you use to gauge the success of a band – whether its chart success, or magazine covers or later on in the 70s, videos. But the fact that Little Feat came to embody all those divergent elements of American music; roots, blues, country, cajun, folk – speaks volumes over how much of a contribution they’ve made over the years.
To get an idea of what they were like during what is considered one of the high-points in their enduring career, here is a gig they did at Ultrasonic Studios in New York – a kind of invite-only concert/radio session done for WLIR-FM and syndicated around the country on September 19, 1974.
Crank it up and enjoy the hell out of it.
h/t to Ed Regan for reminding me.