Little Feat brought a little Dixie Chicken to The Van Buren

Little Feat 50th Anniversary Tour 2019 Backdrop

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: The Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona
Date: Wednesday May 22nd, 2019
Tour: 50th Anniversary Tour 2019

Bill Payne, Keyboardist and co-founder of Little Feat

In 1969, Lowell George was asked to leave Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention, so he started Little Feat  with keyboardist Bill Payne .  In 1972, Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton and Kenny Gradney joined the band.  Per Lowell’s initial vision the bands musical style is a freewheeling fusion of California rock and Dixie-inflected funk-boogie.  In 1979 founding member Lowell George passed away.

The current 2019 touring band consists of Bill Payne (Keyboards, vocals), Paul Barrere (Guitars, Vocals), Fred Tackett (Guitars, Vocals), Sam Clayton (Persussion, Vocals), Kenny Gradney (Bass Player) and Gabe Ford (Drums).  They have included the Midnight Ramble Horns that they now call the Little Feat Horns featuring Jay Collins (Sax), Erik Lawrence (Sax, Flute) and Steven Bernstein (Trumpet).

The concert was a mixture of songs from their 50-year history.  The majority of the songs came from their albums, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, Rooster Rag, Time Loves a Hero and Dixie Chicken.  They started the show with “Rocket In My Pocket” and then did a 4 songs from Feats Don’t Fail Me Now.

Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere, guitarists for Little Feat 50th Anniversary Tour 2019

Numerous times Fred and Paul would merge in the middle of the stage and perform a mini guitar jam.  Also, Paul would jam with Kenny.  Besides the fender guitar, Fred played a mandolin during a couple of the song while Paul played an acoustic guitar.

Horn Section, Jay Collins, Erik Lawrence and Steven Bernstein with Fred Tackett for Little Feat 50th Anniversary 2019

The last song of the main set was “Dixie Chicken”.  It started with the Horns coming out front and they were joined by Fred on trumpet.  Then the horns moved back and Fred picked up his Fender guitar and they competed the song.  As an Encore, they played one of their hits, “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”.  Overall it was about 2 hours of great classic rock and roll music.

Little Feat taking Bow at end of 50th Anniversary Tour 2019

Tonight’s show had a very nice turnout for a midweek show.  The floor was setup with chairs and then a general admission area behind them.  The sound system was very good and you could hear each of the band members as the played and sang.  I even went up to the balcony to get a few stage shots and it sounded great.  The Van Buren is a nice venue to see a concert and you really need to check it out.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved

Little Feat Setlist:                 (Album)
Rocket In My Pocket                (Time Loves a Hero)
Spanish Moon                          (Feats Don’t Fail Me Now)
Skin It Back                             (Feats Don’t Fail Me Now)
Oh Atlanta                               (Feats Don’t Fail Me Now)
Honest Man                             (Lowell George cover)
Fat Man In The Bathtub            (Dixie Chicken)
Church Falling Down                 (Rooster Rag)
Rooster Rag                             (Rooster Rag)
Willin                                        (Sailin’ Shoes)
The Weight                               (The Band Cover)
One Breathe At A Time              (Rooster Rag)
All That You Dream                    (The Last Record Album)
Time Loves A Hero                    (Time Loves a Hero)
Dixie Chicken                             (Dixie Chicken)
Feats Don’t Fail Me Now            (Feats Don’t Fail Me Now)


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