Little Feat, Kickin’ It At The Barn

Fred Goodman

By Fred Goodman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Jam-band progenitors Little Feat soldier on making music that, while not quite as riff-rich as their original oeuvre, takes no backseat when it comes to delivering the goods. The band's core of pianist Bill Payne and guitarists Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere haven't lost a step — in fact, they've gained a broad perspective over the years, pairing the band's original Saturday-night-in-the-ozone party tunes with a wide-ranging taste for all manner of roots music. Often overlooked in the rush to discuss Little Feat's vaunted Lowell George period is the fact that the current Little Feat can drive a tune with the best of them, and their ability to thoughtfully work an extended tune while squeezing out every ounce of musical drama compares favorably with the Allman Brothers. The band's at its drive-it-'til-it-falls-apart best here on the extended tracks "Stomp" and "I Do What the Telephone Tells Me To Do," while the album's introspective closer, "Bill's River Blues," showcases their pensive side. And it's just amazing how much New Orleans 'Radiators took from these guys.