Little Feat- Dixie Chicken 50th- Bill Payne, the late Paul Barrere

The golden anniversary of Little Feat’s breakthrough third album, Dixie Chicken, falls conveniently  within weeks of the forty-fifth anniversary of Little Feat’s most popular seller, the double live album Waiting for Columbus. January 1973’s Dixie Chicken  was the last Little Feat album on which Lowell George, the talented but enigmatic singer, songwriter, and slide guitarist, was the dominant force in the band. He produced Dixie Chicken and again wrote most of the songs. If there’s a demarcation point in the evolution of Little Feat, the Dixie Chicken album is probably it.

If only the world’s most acclaimed rock musicians voted for election into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Little Feat would have been inducted on the first ballot twenty-five years ago. The list of famous Little Feat fans included the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Bob Seger, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, and Robert Plant just for starters. Led originally by the late talented, enigmatic slide guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Lowell George, my guests ace pianist Bill Payne  and singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Barrere (who passed away in October 2019), the critics loved Little Feat just as much as the superstars did. But as you will hear in this classic rock interview, for most of the Seventies they didn’t sell many albums. “That first Little Feat album only sold 11,000 copies,” Bill Payne blurts out. “The second album Sailin’ Shoes only sold 13,000. Maybe 17,000 tops, initially. So I was incredulous that they would even let us do a second album.” Little Feat’s Sailin’ Shoes, coming as it did in May 1972, may not have been the band’s actual first album, but there is no question it is where this all-American band’s legend and legacy began. Little Feat lifers Bill Payne and Paul Barrere sat down with me to talk. Or maybe they should have been lying down on a couch. “I loved him, and I hated him,” said a clearly emotional Barrere in this intense conversation which inevitably begins and ends with the subject of the enigmatic musical genius, Lowell George. “Man, this interview was like a therapy session,” Bill Payne confessed, looking me straight in the eye.Songs include “Easy to Slip”, “Fat Man in the Bath Tub”,”Willin’ “,”Dixie Chicken”, “Oh Atlanta”, “Spanish Moon”,”All That You Dream”, and “Rocket in My Pocket”. This is a no-holds-barred insider’s look at the talented but troubled Little Feat co-founder Lowell George and his complicated relationships within the band prior to his death from a drug-induced heart attack in 1979. This show is dedicated to the memory of George, plus band co-founder/drummer Richie Hayward and now too guitarist/singer Paul Barrere.- Redbeard