Little Feat

Barnstormin' Live [Box Set]

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One cannot argue with the musicianship of the 21st century Little Feat. Everyone in this band -- with the exception of vocalist Shaun Murphy -- was a member at one time or another while the late Lowell George was alive (he died in June 1979). The group went on, however, and were given the box-set treatment with Barnstormin' Live. The two discs here were recorded during Little Feat's 2004 tour, and were released separately in 2005 as volumes one and two. This is simply a repackaging of those recordings. Nothing has been added except a slipcase. If you already purchased the earlier volumes, there is nothing new here for you. For those who haven't, if you've never bothered to check out this version of the band (without Lowell George), this is the disc that will win you over. It's direct and unedited, showcasing the true power of the band in a live setting. It doesn't matter if they're playing older or newer material; they perform like a band that has been together for a very long time; they're tight, they're dynamic, and they know how to play to one another's strengths. Murphy is a wonderful addition to the band (and sends shivers on the jam that is "One Clear Moment>Just Another Sunday"). None of the other live Hot Tomato releases come close to these two volumes in terms of raw, crackling energy and tough, swaggering boogie. In many ways, this is a different band than the one George was part of, yet in many ways it's the next logical extension of that era. One can argue whether or not they should have changed their name after he passed away, but there is no argument of the fact that Little Feat was made up of more than one person, and the collective energy assembled here is no revival act. This is a vital band that doesn't simply take up a place in the roots rock vernacular, but offers a clear and distinct contribution to where it should be headed.

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