The Lonely Goatherd Blog

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32

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April 13, 2003


Lowell George, rock and roll doctor
Dedicating this with love to my late brother Malcolm Perkins, Lowell George's #1 fan
On a perhaps somewhat less highly exalted, but particularly funky note, April 13 also marks the birthday of the late Lowell George, the songwriter, singer and guitarist for Little Feat. Amongst many classic songs, George wrote at least one full-fledged standard, "Willin'".

Lowell was basically a rich kid coming up, but he got the blues down deep in his own way. He had the real feeling, the quirky artsy bent (a fortuitous apprenticeship with Frank Zappa probably brought this out even more) to make something uniquely personal out of it, and the pure hook-writing songcraft to make it work.

In addition, he played exceptional, as he once described it, "sleazy" slide guitar. He also had a really good, supple band behind him that even contributed some outstanding songs themselves. George really used the multiple drummers and horn section. They got some outstanding New Orleans sounds in the mix, particularly on the Waiting for Columbus version of "Dixie Chicken".

One testament to their skill as live performers: the live versions of many of their songs (particularly on the uber-classic Waiting for Columbus album) clearly eclipsed the very good studio recordings. Indeed this would be the first album of theirs to get. I can't think of any other rock or pop group where I'd recommend starting with the live album.

In short, Little Feat was something like what the Grateful Dead might have been had they inverted the proportions of iconography to actual musical and songwriting skill.

Here would give you a strong line up for a Little Feat Mastermix CD:

Willin' (Sailin' Shoes)
Rock and Roll Doctor (Feats Don't Fail Me Now)
Spanish Moon (Waiting for Columbus)
Feats Don't Fail Me Now (Feats Don't Fail Me Now)
Don't Bogart That Joint (Waiting for Columbus)
Easy to Slip (Sailin' Shoes)
Time Loves a Hero (Waiting for Columbus)
Cold, Cold, Cold (Sailin' Shoes)
Strawberry Flats (Little Feat)
On Your Way Down (Dixie Chicken)
A Apolitical Blues (Sailin' Shoes)
Fat Man in the Bathtub (Waiting for Columbus)
Easy Money (George's solo Thanks, I'll Eat It Here)
Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie (Little Feat)
Sailin' Shoes (Sailin' Shoes)
China White (Hoy-Hoy)
Two Trains (Dixie Chicken)
Rocket in My Pocket (Waiting for Columbus)
Roll 'Um Easy (Dixie Chicken)
Trouble (Sailin' Shoes)
Dixie Chicken (Waiting for Columbus)

posted by Al at 4/13/2003 12:55:00 PM

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