Thursday, August 4, 2016

Little Feat - Dixie Chicken (1973 us, exceptional multicolored southern rock, 2007 japan remaster)


Dixie Chicken (1973) is when Little Feat came up with their signature sound.  Many fans cite this as the group’s best LP.  I’ve always thought their debut was one of the best albums from the time (Sailin’ Shoes is also superb), so I’m not really sure which side of the fence I stand on.

Dixie Chicken is a more produced (rich, full sound), laid back affair when compared to the raw eccentricity of those first two albums.   Most of the tracks are Lowell George originals but to give you an idea of the influences at work here, the group covers Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down.”  This means there’s a strong New Orleans aroma throughout Dixie Chicken.  Classics like the title track and “Two Trains Running” while great songs, feature soulful backup vocalists, which make them sound a bit more produced than the group’s earlier efforts.  That being said, this is certainly one hell of an album – one of the defining roots rock discs.  

On Dixie Chicken, the group incorporated funky, almost danceable rhythms within many of the song structures while other tunes such as the excellent “Kiss It Off,” replete with ominous synth or “Juliette,” feature dark, intense vibes.  Dixie Chicken is also notable for featuring one of Little Feat’s greatest songs, the much loved “Fat Man In The Bathtub.”

Impassioned vocals, great lyrics, piano, slide guitar and a rock steady beat make this track one of classic rock’s great legends – there’s nothing like it.  My picks are the acoustic (and slide guitar) piece “Roll Um Easy” and the jumpin’ “Fool Yourself.”  Both songs have the feel and style of Little Feat’s earlier triumphs.  All told, Little Feat came up with their third masterpiece in as many years. Essential.
by Jason Nardelli
1. Dixie Chicken (Lowell George, Fred Martin) - 3:56
2. Two Trains - 3:06
3. Roll Um Easy - 2:31
4. On Your Way Down (Allen Toussaint) - 5:35
5. Kiss It Off - 2:59
6. Fool Yourself (Fred Tackett) - 3:15
7. Walkin All Night (Paul Barrère, Bill Payne) - 3:39
8. Fat Man In The Bathtub - 4:30
9. Juliette - 3:34
10.Lafayette Railroad (Instrumental) (Lowell George, Bill Payne) - 3:36
All songs by Lowell George except where stated

The Little Feat
*Paul Barrere - Guitar, Vocals
*Sam Clayton - Congas
*Lowell George - Vocals, Guitar, Cowbell, Flute
*Kenny Gradney - Bass
*Richie Hayward - Drums, Backing Vocals
*Bill Payne - Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Bonnie Bramlett - Backing Vocals
*Malcolm Cecil - Synthesizer
*Tret Fure - Backing Vocals
*Danny Hutton - Backing Vocals
*Milt Holland - Tabla
*Gloria Jones - Backing Vocals
*Debbie Lindsey - Backing Vocals
*Bonnie Raitt - Backing Vocals
*Stephanie Spurville - Backing Vocals
*Fred Tackett - Guitar