Just bought the latest release of one of my favourite bands, Little Feat. Little Feat used to be fronted by Lowell George, singer, song-writer and slide guitarist extraordinaire. Lowell passed away in the 70's, but Little Feat seems still able to come out with good records. Maybe because the Feats are a collection of great musicians with a diverse taste in music.
Anyway, this is a special recording. The Feat's has invited guest musicians to "join the band" and re-record some of their greatest hits. How bad can that be, considering the back catalogue of this band? Well, I would love to say that it's all great, but it isn't. Right of the bat, there are two bad signals just reading through the cover: 1. The choice of artists and 2. the song selection. The artists on this album vary a lot in quality: Sonny Landreth, the slide wizard, is a great and obvious choice. Jimmy Buffett (the American equivalent of Ole Ivars) is not.
And the song selection, yes, many of their old classics are there, but with the body of work Little Feat has, why on earth do they include covers like This Land is Your Land, See You Later Alligator and The Weight? Not that that's bad songs, but they have no connection to Little Feat or that guest artists. And there are so many original Feat songs that are missing from the CD that could have been recorded rather then some overplayed covers. Where are Apolitical Blues, Roll Um Easy, Two Trains, Cold, Cold, Cold, Feats Don't Fail Me Now and Easy To Slip? The list goes on and on.
The Feat's has rerecorded the classics with "a new take". But unfortunately, in almost every case "new take" means slowing down the tune. Which is a good way of doing a different version of a song, but it starts getting a bit predictable after a while. And not every song gets better just buy slowing it down.
This starts to look like a really bad review, but the CD is not that bad. Most of the songs are OK-ish, but Dave Matthews and Sonny Landreth do Fat Man In The Bathtub justice, and Lowell George's daughter Inara, does a really great, low-key version of Trouble, which is the only song that eclipses or surpasses the original.