Little Feat

Live in Holland 1976

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There has been a wealth of live Little Feat treasures over the past couple of years. In May of 2013, Hellzapoppin, an import issue of a 1975 WBCN broadcast, was issued. Then in November, American Cutie, recorded in 1973 at Ebbets Field by Colorado's KCUV FM, hit the streets. In both cases the audio had been significantly improved over the many bootleg sources of these tapes and warranted purchase. Now Eagle Vision ups the ante by getting this twin audio and video set from the Pinkpop Festival in Holland on June 7, 1976. While the performance is Little Feat in all its funky glory -- Lowell George was at a personal peak here -- it is a bit shorter than the Hellzapoppin show, which it resembles. The reason is simple: the former was a Little Feat gig; this features the band as part of a festival lineup. Clocking in at under 70 minutes, this gig is all GO, commencing with "Skin It Back" giving way to "Fat Man in a Bathtub." There are a few rough spots in the audio, but nothing serious enough to remotely consider not picking this up if you're a fan. Some of the other highlights here are the soulful, relaxed groove of "One Love Stand," which leads into an earthshaking "Rock and Roll Doctor," with a scathing slide solo from George. All the seeming contradictions in this band's live presence are on display here when watching the video, such as how laid-back and loose their approach can seem -- until one listens to the music. It's all popping grooves, interlocked vamps, focused arrangements, and a generous sense of solo space as well as a nearly unrivaled sense of timing -- and worth every superlative that has ever been tossed their way. Paul Barrére's taut solo that introduces "All That You Dream" is indicative of the forthcoming depth of emotion in George's vocal. And speaking of Barrére, his extended break on "Dixie Chicken" -- a ten-minute jam that emerges from a nasty, dirty "Cold, Cold, Cold" -- is a hallmark in Little Feat's live record history. "Tripe Face Boogie" is so ferocious it could have been the closer or an encore, and based on the enthusiasm of the crowd, that's no exaggeration. But the intensity only increases on closer "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" and into "Teenage Nervous Breakdown," the encore. The video on this set is a beautifully done show with four cameras on a sunny afternoon with gorgeous close-up footage throughout. Live in Holland 1976 is an absolute must for Little Feat fans, and serves as a fine introduction for the newcomer to their particular brand of musical magic-making.

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