Album Title: Little Feat
Performer: Little Feat
Label & #: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 770
Play Time:
Recorded: 1969

While remembered mostly as a deliciously funky New Orleans-style R&B band, Little Feat were a fairly eclectic yet talented bunch that mixed several genres of popular music and, with chief songwriter Lowell George's eccentric songwriting, tied them together with an eye for the surreal and downright weird. It was this offside charm that helped garner critical acclaim and a devoted cult following. In 1979 unfortunately, Lowell George who most definitely lived the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle died to shut the door on any continued ascent and wider audience. However, Little Feat did reform in the late 80s and while their tours and albums were fairly successful,
they lacked George's off kilter world view. As a long-time fan, my Little Feat collection pretty much ended at George's demise. Just as it would be impossible to imagine the Rolling Stones without Keith Richards, Little Feat just wasn't the same without George.

Mothers of Invention alumni, Lowell George (guitar, slide guitar, vocals) and Roy Estrada (bass) formed Little Feat in 1969 with Richard Hayward (drums) and keyboardist Billy Payne. Their self-titled debut was hardly a blockbuster in terms of sales (approximately 11,000 copies) but they also never created anything quite like it again in their later career. Unlike the funky R&B sound of those albums, Little Feat's first record was a mix of raw roadhouse blues, roots rock and country with a splash of Frank Zappa weirdness. Chief songwriter Lowell George wove clever, funny and bizarre little tales populated by whacky characters that would not look out of place in a David Lynch film. Drug-addled truck drivers rub shoulders with truck stop girls, homicidal sea captains, the lonely, the broken-hearted and the just plain fucked up. Picture an amphetamine-fueled road trip along Route 66 circa 1969 and all the interesting characters you might meet. Guest musician Ry Cooder adds some awesome bottleneck playing plus some blistering guitar on a completely convincing Howlin' Wolf medley while session musician Sneaky Pete provides some tasty pedal steel treatments.
Sonically, this disc is darn fine. I can't remember any vinyl or CD issue of this album sounding as good. Granted, we're talking a late '60s rock recording here, hardly audiophile material. Don't expect the heavens to part and the light to shine down from on high. Nevertheless, I love MoFi's approach to taking classic albums, remastering them with greatly improved sound quality and providing awesome packaging. It all gets me closer to the music and to those who created it. MoFi satisfies both the obsessive audiophile and thrill-seeking music lover in me. I'm currently salivating at the prospect of MoFi giving the rest of Little Feat's back catalogue the same Midas touch.

This release includes new liner notes by producer Russ
Titelman (MoFi exclusive) and numbered, limited edition gatefold packaging. Also available on 180g vinyl.