LITTLE FEAT – ” Electrif Lycanthrope: Live at Ultra-Sonic Studios 1974 “

Posted: November 25, 2021 in MUSIC

While the British rock scene was littered with all sorts of underrated bands in the ’70s, the same was true across the pond in the United States. While bands such as Aerosmith and the Eagles were tearing up the charts, other acts were trying to scrape together a living by hitting the road and selling themselves on their live act. One such band was Little Feat, a group out of Los Angeles formed in 1969 that never made a hit single, but still managed to catch the attention of much bigger acts, to the point where Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page told Rolling Stone magazine in a 1975 interview that Little Feat was his favourite American band.

Nestled between the classic LP releases Dixie Chicken and Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and playing for a small and intimate assembled studio audience, this recording finds Little Feat in their prime live from Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, NY on September 9th, 1974. Often discussed as their ‘best’ line up, this recording features the 1974 version of Little Feat containing Lowell George (Guitar, Vocals), Paul Barrere (Guitar, Vocals), Kenny Gradney (Bass), Richie Hayward (Drums,Vocals) Sam Clayton (Percussion, Vocals), and Bill Payne (Keyboards). With excerpts of this performance only available previously as a legendary 70’s bootleg, this would be the first time the full-length performance would be available directly from the original pre-FM broadcast master tapes.

This release serves as an excellent introduction to one of rock ‘n’ roll’s best – yet criminally unsung – outfits. The recording captures the band cranking out songs from what are arguably two of their three best studio albums, at the pinnacle of their chemistry.

The late Lowell George didn’t get enough flowers during his lifetime, and has still missed out on any wealth of bouquets for being an innovator when it came to melodic, funky jazz-rock songcraft or for his Little Feat band (who still make magnificent new albums and tour) being early jam band VIPs. If you want to check out Lowell and Little Feat’s entire catalogue , find Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990, or start with the punchy, never-before-released rough house of “Electrif Lycanthrope”. Wolfen and Zappa-esque (George was once a Mother of Invention), the live, rugged funk of Little Feat is a necessity for any blue-eyed soul adventurers.

On the back of former Frank Zappa guitarist Lowell George, Little Feat produced a catchy catalogue of rock blending elements of folk, funk, blues, and country up until the group disbanded in 1979 shortly before Lowell’s death. If you’ve somehow made it this long without discovering Little Feat, you owe it to yourself to give them a listen (their live album “Waiting For Columbus” is great place to start).

Little Feat “Live At Ultrasonic Studios” [WLIR] Hempstead, NY September 19, 1974 Pre-FM (tracks 1 to 9) FM broadcast (tracks 10 to 12) Finally time to have Little Feat aboard, and they arrive with a classic recording at the Ultrasonic Studios on September 1974. This one is not rare at all, it is more as a way of recognising and remembering the fine music that the band played and still plays.

Tracks 01 – 00:00 Rock n’ Roll Doctor 3:49 02 – 03:49 Two Trains 4:10 03 – 07:59 The Fan 6:18 04 – 14:17 On Your Way Down 6:29 05 – 20:46 Spanish Moon 4:12 06 – 24:58 Skin It Back 5:28 07 – 30:26 Fat Man In The Bath Tub 4:50 08 – 35:16 Oh Atlanta 3:39 09 – 38:55 Willin’ 3:35 10 – 42:30 Cold Cold Cold 5:01 11 – 47:31 Dixie Chicken 5:52 12 – 53:23 Tripe Face Boogi 4:37

Lowell George – guitar, vocals Paul Barrére – guitar, vocals Bill Payne – keyboards, vocals Kenny Gradney – bass, vocals Richie Hayward – drums, vocals Sam Clayton – percussion, vocals This is ridiculously great! This recording presents them at their peak. Little Feat has one of the greatest rhythm sections ever. The sound quality is great and the performance is outstanding! Check out “The Fan, Fat Man In The Bath Tub” or “Spanish Moon” at least.

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