In 1969, when Little Feat was formed by keyboardist Bill Payne and the just-fired Mothers of Invention guitarist Lowell George, 40-year-old bands didn't exist. Yet 43 years later, Little Feat's still cranking out their original brand of Southern boogie, which merges funk, jazz, blues, gospel, folk, soul, rock, and New Orleans' unique rhythmic pulse. Perhaps even more surprising is just how fresh and vibrant the music remains on Rooster Rag, the group's latest effort. When, at just 34, George died of a heart attack in 1979, the band effectively died along with him. But Little Feat's popularity never waned, and the remaining members reformed in 1987, releasing the acclaimed Let It Roll. Though the band experienced some lean times in the 1990s, and juggled a rotating cast of vocalists, the musical turpitude of core (and current) members Payne, Sam Clayton, Paul Barrere, Kenny Gradney, and Fred Tackett (who joined in 1987), plus recently deceased drummer Richie Hayward, kept the group's decisive groove flowing. Now it's 2012 — the perfect moment for the band's latest revival. Its re-energized outlook and vintage sound should remind people why Little Feat formed in the first place: to boogie all night long.
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