Little Feat – Dixie Chicken – Deluxe Edition Triple Vinyl Set – Rhino Entertainment Group

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Rhino Entertainment Group releases a triple vinyl of Little Feat’s definitive album.

Little Feat – Dixie Chicken – Deluxe Edition Triple Vinyl Set – Warner Records (1973)/Rhino Entertainment Group (2023) includes 10-page full size booklet ****1/2:

After the critical acclaim and  moderate success of Little Feat’s first two albums, the group appeared to be at a crossroads. Original bassist Roy Estrada left the group and was replaced by Kenny Gradney. Additionally, conga player Sam Clayton was added. When guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Paul Barrere joined the band, this expanded Little Feat lineup took a notable step forward. The result was the 1973 album, Dixie Chicken. George was still the primary singer and songwriter. This is widely regarded as the most consistent work of the group. Despite good reviews, improved sales (it eventually went gold) and successful touring, heightened acceptance remained elusive.

Album Cover for Little Feat Dixie Chicken Collage Rhino Entertainment Group has released a re-mastered triple vinyl gatefold set of Dixie Chicken. The first LP consists of the studio album. Side One opens with the title track. There have been several quintessential Little Feat songs, but “Dixie Chicken’ may be George’s ultimate signature. After Bill Payne’s funky blues intro, George lays down a soulful tale about “…the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel…”. An all-star backup chorus (including Bonnie Bramlett and Bonnie Raitt) make this a classic. “Two Trains” is unbridled funk with hooks galore. A certain highlight is the atmospheric late-night “Roll Um Easy”, with nimble slide guitar and hoarse Danny Hutton harmony. There is a “swampy” cover of Allen Touissant’s “On Your Way Down” with great organ. In a change of pace, “Kiss It Off” is winsome and George’s weary vocals are compelling. Side Two features a song (“Fool Yourself”) by Feat collaborator Fred Tackett that captures the new  groove-infused sound of the band with an infectious chorus. A Payne/Barrere composition (“Walkin’ All Night”) is an electric blues fest. Both writers share lead vocals. Another Feat classic, “Fat Man In The Bathtub” features  show-stopping vocals by George. In another stylistic change, “Juliette” is jazzy with George on flute and great syncopated rhythm. The finale (“Lafayette Railroad”) is an instrumental with a slower blues roll.

The second vinyl has some interesting demos and outtakes. A ragged guitar version of “Fat Man In The Bathtub” is George at his best. Barrere shines on lead vocals with “Hi Roller” (which would appear on a later album). A version of “Roll Um Easy” is just Lowell George on vocals, but adds Payne’s nimble piano. The demo for “Two Trains” adopts  Bo Diddley-like guitar riffs. The listener can sense George working through the arrangement. The final LP is a live performance recorded at Paul’s Mall in Boston. This is the epitome of this reincarnation of Little Feat. “Apolitical Blues” is low down ’n’ nasty with the double-barreled guitars of George and Barrere. A relaxed version of “Willin’” has talking/singing vocals with exquisite harmony. Payne’s lyrical piano solo is excellent. The sextet has an innate feel for blues on “Got No Shadow”, and tough r & B on “Two Trains”. 

This Deluxe Edition 3-LP vinyl (also available on 2-CDs) of Dixie Chicken is a great document of a brilliant, under-appreciated rock band. The expanded lineup creates a vibrant musical tapestry, and George’s charismatic lead vocals have never been better. This would be a fine addition to any rock and roll collection!

—Robbie Gerson

Little Feat Musicians:

Lowell George – guitar, percussion, vocals; Paul Barrere – guitar, vocals; Sam Clayton – congas; Bill Payne – keyboards, vocals, synthesizer; Richie Hayward – drums, vocals; Kenny Gradney – bass; Bonnie Bramlett – backing vocals; Bonnie Raitt – backing vocals; Danny Hutton – backing vocals; Gloria Jones – backing vocals; Tret Pure – backing vocals; Stephanie Spruill – backing vocals; Debbie Lindsey – backing vocals; Gloria Jones – backing vocals; Malcolm Cecil – synthesizer

Little Feat – Dixie Chicken, Deluxe Edition Triple Vinyl Set

Disc One (Dixie Chicken 2023 Remaster)
Side One: Dixie Chicken; Two Trains; Roll Um Easy; On Your Way Down; Kiss It Off
Side Two: Fool Yourself; Walkin’ All Night; Fat Man In The Bathtub; Juliette; Lafayette Railroad

Disc Two (Hotcakes, Outtakes & Rarities)
Side One: Two Trains (demo); Fat Man In The Bathtub (demo); Walkin’ All Night (alternate version); Roll Um Easy (alternate version); On Your Way Down (alternate version)
Side Two: Eldorado Slim: Juliette (alternate version); Hi Roller (ace in the hole); Dixie Chicken (alternate version)

Disc Three (Live At Paul’s Mall)
Side One: Two Trains; Got No Shadow; On Your Way Down
Side Two: Walkin’ All Night; Fat Man In The Bathtub; Willin’; Apolitical Blues 

More information through Rhino Entertainment

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Album Cover for Little Feat Dixie Chicken Collage

Album Cover for Little Feat, Dixie Chicken

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