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Little Feat

Little Feat was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by Lowell George and Roy Estrada. Both were former members of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. The original lineup was completed with the addition of Richard Hayward on drums and Bill Payne on keyboards. Their first two albums were Little Feat (1971) and Sailin' Shoes (1972). The albums were critical successes but failed by commercial standards.

The group split up briefly for a period in 1971-72 but reformed with new members that included Paul Barrere on guitar and percussionist Sam Clayton. Roy Estrada, who had le ...read more

Little Feat was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by Lowell George and Roy Estrada. Both were former members of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. The original lineup was completed with the addition of Richard Hayward on drums and Bill Payne on keyboards. Their first two albums were Little Feat (1971) and Sailin' Shoes (1972). The albums were critical successes but failed by commercial standards.

The group split up briefly for a period in 1971-72 but reformed with new members that included Paul Barrere on guitar and percussionist Sam Clayton. Roy Estrada, who had left the group, was replaced on bass by Kenny Gradney. The first album from the new lineup was to be their most popular yet: Dixie Chicken (1973). No doubt the single of the same name, which is arguable their most well known song, was a prime reason. But the funkier, tighter sound and more prominent jazz influences, which defined this lineup, were no doubt welcome dimensions. They continued their success with Feats Don't Fail Me Now (1974) and then The Last Record Album (1975). Purportedly by then Barrere and Payne had taken over much of the song writing due to the effects of Lowell George's drug use.

Although the group had gained in popularity they did not enjoy broad commercial appeal but rather sort of a cult following. Their next release was Time Loves a Hero in 1977 and it was on the tours following that album in 1977-78 that they recorded and released the much heralded double live album Waiting for Columbus (1978). It was shortly after this period, frustrated with the bands direction that founding member Lowell George started a solo project the result of which was the album Thanks, I'll Eat It Here. With its release George declared Little Feat broken up and embarked on a solo career. Sadly, George died shortly thereafter of a heart attack in 1979. Little Feat's final album with George, Down on the Farm, was released after his death in 1979. In 1981 a rarities collection called Hoy-Hoy! was also released.

Members of Little Feat worked on various side projects and had stints in other bands after Little Feat broke up, but in 1988 Payne, Barrere, Hayward and Gradney decided to reform the group. They were joined by vocalist/guitarist Craig Fuller and guitarist Fred Tackett. Their first new release in 1988, Let It Roll, was a commercial success eventually going gold. But subsequent albums Representing the Mambo (1989), Shake Me Up (1991) and Ain't Had Enough Fun (1995) didn't quite measure up. On Ain't Had Enough Fun and albums thereafter the voice of Fuller, plugged in to sound a measure like Lowell George, was replaced by female lead Shaun Murphy. The band has since followed with albums Under the Radar (1988), Chinese Work Songs (2000), Late Night Truck Stop (2001) and Kickin' It at the Barn (2003). The group still tours to this day.

Shaun Murphy left the band in 2009 and Richie Hayward became ill with liver cancer later that same year. He was replaced on drums by the band's drum tech, Gabe Ford, in August 2009. Ford was only supposed to play drums with them until Richie became well again but he succumbed to the cancer and died on August 12, 2010, about a year after he was diagnosed. « hide

Similar Bands: ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band

Hoy-Hoy!
1981

3.1
8 Votes
Waiting For Columbus
1978

4.2
22 Votes
Feats Don't Fail Me Now
1974

4
20 Votes
Dixie Chicken
1973

4
20 Votes
Sailin' Shoes
1972

4.1
20 Votes
Little Feat
1970

3.8
22 Votes

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