Little Feat and Friends Join The Band

Little Feat have graduated from somewhat eclectic beginnings in ’69 to grow into, some 39 years later, an American musical institution. And although nobody could disagree that the heart of the band died the day they lost Lowell George, precious few could claim that they haven’t maintained a respectful level of musicianship loyal to their original dream. Their fan base has, in fact, crossed generational lines. So, does a "friends” treatment using those same songs, which have become sacrosanct, signal the beginning of the end, executive produced by Jimmy Buffet, no less? Quite the opposite. The dizzying line-up of guests treat each classic, for the most part, with reverence, building on the originals rather than subtracting from their legacy. Highlights are many but "Trouble,” sung by Lowell’s daughter Inara, hits the biggest nerve. Somewhat surprisingly, Brooks and Dunn’s take on "Willin’” is equally outstanding, delivered with sincere conviction, minus the country shtick they shouldn’t be tagged with. As well, relish the artful treatment of "Fat Man,” with Dave Matthews and Sonny Landreth taking the reins. Even Lowell’s got to be smiling. (429)