Sunday, 5 August 2018

Little Feat - Dixie Chicken (1973)




Released January 1973

Recorded in Los Angeles

There were so many great funk bands in the early/mid seventies - The Meters, Tower Of Power, Graham Central Station and also many great country rock bands - The Doobie Brothers, The Byrds, CSNY, The Eagles. Little Feat were actually a bit of both - rock yet funky at the same time.  Many people have categorised them as a "jam" band - a band whose sound had that sort of played live feel to it.

TRACK LISTING

1. Dixie Chicken
2. Two Trains
3. Roll 'Um Easy
4. On Your Way Down
5. Kiss It Off
6. Fool Yourself
7. Walkin' All Night
8. Fat Man In The Bathtub
9. Juliette
10. Lafayette Railroad

Little Feat's leader and main inspiration, Lowell George, went all New Orleans for this album - it is full of sultry, swampy, hot grooves. The opening title track is probably the most country-ish track on the album. The next cut, "Two Trains" is a delicious slice of funky, grinding New Orleans rock, my only complaint is that it finishes too soon. "Roll Um Easy" is another short track, this time a slide guitar and bass dominated piece of pure blues. "On Your Way Down" is a piano and organ-driven slow burner with some addictive percussion that explores the often-quoted theme of meeting the same people on the way down that you met on the way up. It is a sumptuous piece of blues rock.

"Kiss It Off" is a mysterious blues with some odd synthesiser noises in it. "Fool Yourself" is a laid-back agreeable song and "Walkin' All Night" is a soulful, grinding, cookin' on a medium heat blues with some excellent guitar. This is an extremely mature record, if you think that much 1973's output was in the poppy/glam mould. There was nothing remotely commercial about this album. It was a proper, serious album. "Fat Man In The Bathtub" is rhythmic and lively but quite what it is about I still have no real idea, other than it sounds as if it could be slightly ludicrous. "Juliette" is relaxing, late night rock and "Lafayette Railroad" is a beguiling instrumental closer to the album.

The album is in need of a remastering, however. The sound is ok, but it could be improved upon. Overall, however, it is an interesting album to dig out every now and again and realise how, at times, US rock like this was considerably ahead of its time.

B-

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