It’s entirely possible to have issue with Little Feat’s mid-to-late ’70s jazz-fusion direction; guitarist/founder Lowell George certainly did. But that discounts Little Feat’s amazing first four albums in the early ’70s when George was at the height of his powers. Fresh from Mothers of Invention, he captains a rocking blend of blues, garage and country-folk that still bears the imprint of Zappa’s idiosyncrasy for their stunning self-titled debut. Commercial considerations drove the follow-up, Sailin Shoes, but if not as weird, the writing’s even stronger. Dixie Chicken followed in ’73—after a lineup change—featuring the title cut whose laidback but funky Big Easy roots boogie would become their signature. George’s death in ’79 brought an eight-year hiatus and sapped the band, but the lineup’s remained remarkably consistent through the years, and the music’s still terrific. Though George’s brilliance remains largely unsung, his mates perpetuate his legacy with vibrant performances.
Fri., Dec. 31, 9pm. $39.50-$55. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
PW's Music Issue 2014