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Band is no flash in the pan

April 14, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - If you want to listen to pop music, watch a band lip synch or see a big light and fireworks show, Little Feat isn't for you.

If you like classic rock performed differently from one show to the next, then Little Feat could provide your kind of music.

"It's an acquired taste, since it's not pop music, not a flash in the pan, or we wouldn't be doing it," said Paul Barrere, guitarist and vocalist for Little Feat.

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Little Feat, which originally started in 1969, is certainly not a flash in the pan.

The band, performing Wednesday, April 20, at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, attracts many people who are into the jam band scene, said Barrere. That includes Deadheads - followers of The Grateful Dead - old tie-dye types and people who are there to be taken away by the music.

The band's audience ranges from 18 to 60 years old, said Barrere, in a recent telephone interview from his suburban Los Angeles home.

Barrere describes their music as American, incorporating folk, blues, rock, jazz and country. Popular tunes include "Dixie Chicken," "Willin'" and "Oh Atlanta."

Audience members usually find it hard to keep to their seats and end up dancing, he said.

"It's all about fun, really" for the audience and the band, Barrere said.

"When you're doing it, you're just kind of taken away, creating and in the moment. Kind of soaring, really. Living on a whole different plane," Barrere said.

Barrere said he likes the acoustics at the Weinberg Center, which is part of a four-week leg of the band's tour.

Though the band has been called a Southern band, that's a misnomer, Barrere said. Several band members live in California, one in Nashville, Tenn., and one in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, he said.

Little Feat started in 1969 with founding members Lowell George and Bill Payne, who is still in the band. Other members joined later, such as Barrere in 1972, and the band continued until George's death in 1979, Barrere said.

The band split up for about seven years until an impromptu jam session in the spring of 1986 at an Los Angeles rehearsal studio called The Alley stirred up talk of reuniting, he said. They did just that, recording "Let It Roll" in 1987, he said.

"The music was still the same notes, yet playing with new flavor, and everyone had become better musicians. (That's) what we strive for daily anyway," Barrere said.

Little Feat's last album with original music - "Kickin' It at the Barn" - came out in 2003, according to Deep South Entertainment, Little Feat's management company.

The band probably will release its next album in 2006, Barrere said.

Songwriter Barrere gets his inspiration from the news, books, movies and muses who wake him in the night.

"I feel very blessed that the creative musings keep talking to me," he said.

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