Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bill Payne's 60th Birthday; Little Feat- ALL THAT YOU DREAM

Its March 12th....and 60 years ago today Little Feat's co-founder and keyboardist extraordinaire Bill Payne was born. That's Bill in the picture above on the right, and on the left we have the band in a recent photo, and another from their early days in the 1970's.

This amazing group (I can't listen to them without an ear to ear grin and wanting to dance...and I can't dance) was formed in 1969 by former Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention guitarist Lowell George and Bill Payne. They were joined by drummer Richie Hayward and bassist Roy Estrada.Two albums with so-so success led to a reshuffling of the deck in 1972. Estrada left, and was replaced on bass by Kenny Gradney. Also joining were guitarist/ vocalist Paul Barrere and Sam Clayton on congas, percussion and vocals. Their sound evolved into that distinctive New Orleans style funk that became their signature to this day. The band went on to success in the 1970's. Jazz-fusion became part of their repertoire. Also during the decade they collaborated with British singer Robert Palmer on his Pressure Drop album.

Lowell George died in 1979, and subsequently the group disbanded for most of the 1980's. In 1988 the surviving members of the group reunited as Little Feat, adding guitarist Fred Tackett and former Pure Prairie League singer/guitarist Craig Fuller. The first album by this new lineup was Let it Roll, their first Gold Record since 1978's Waitng For Columbus. Fuller stayed on until 1993, when he left and was replaced by female vocalist Shaun Murphy . She stayed on until fairly recently, leaving the group in February, 2009.

Here's a look of the classic lineup from a German concert in 1977, a Lowell George led version of All That You Dream, later a big hit for Linda Ronstadt.

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