With Little Feat returning to the stage this Thursday the 11th in Port Chester, New York, the band wanted to share even more widely Bill Payne’s letter to Feat Fans. It goes a long way to explain the music and the magical bond among them that has allowed them to overcome losing Lowell (George), then Richie (Hayward), then Paul (Barrere): the music, and the pleasure of sharing it with audiences, is more than enough to keep them playing on.
I will leave it to others to memorialize, to exalt into the heavens someone who wouldn’t have wanted it. Paul Barrere was my band mate, my friend, someone I leaned on and occasionally pushed away. We spent a good measure of our lives engaged in the art of making and playing music with a band that could have only been conjured in a dream. But it was all too real.
Carlos Santana, to paraphrase a funky expression, “tore the roof off that sucker,” on June 27 at a cool and comfortable evening outing near Sacramento, California. He and the band blasted out of the gate, following a big-screen montage of old Santana Woodstock-era footage, with an exhilarating version of “Soul Sacrifice,” the epic instrumental that made the country sit up and take notice 50 years ago, both on the band’s eponymous first record, as well as the forever indelible version performed at Woodstock.
On the last Tuesday night in May, Little Feat continued their triumphant 50th anniversary tour in Oakland at the storied Fox Theater. Time-honored members Bill Payne (piano, keys, synth), Paul Barrere (guitars), Kenny Gradney (bass), Sam Clayton (percussion), and Fred Tackett (guitars, mandolin, trumpet) were joined by Gabe Ford (drums) and very special guests Midnight Ramble Horns (Steve Bernstein, Erik Lawrence, Jay Collins,) for a night of career-spanning classics.
Grateful Web recently had the honor of speaking with Bill Payne about the upcoming milestone of 50 years of Little Feat in 2019. Payne’s depth as an artist goes much farther than Little Feat’s founding pianist, co-songwriter and vocalist. A photographer, poet, one of the hardest working and best damn American rock musicians since the 1970s.
This year slamgrass pioneers Leftover Salmon celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary. Beyond the musical splendor, a blend of Cajun, bluegrass, zydeco, and hard psychedelic rock, is a lovable raucousness. Their triumphant resurgence into fulltime touring has been strengthened by the presence of founding Little Feat pianist Bill Payne.