Little Feat

Snakes on Everything

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This double CD is entirely unauthorized and contains two separate hour-long live sets -- derived from a stereo mixing desk (aka soundboard) feed -- of Little Feat at Ebbits Field in Denver, CO, on July 19th, 1973. The second (read: late) show has circulated for decades via a radio simulcast on KFML-FM. However, Snakes on Everything contains both shows from a clean pre-broadcast tape source. Additionally, it should be noted that a single-disc composite of these performances was briefly available on the NMC subsidiary label Burning Airlines -- under the name Late Night Truck Stop -- before it was unceremoniously recalled due to impending legal ramifications. This set catches Little Feat on tour in support of Dixie Chicken, the band's third long-player and the first to feature bassist Kenny Gradney. He replaced former Mother of Invention Roy Estrada when Estrada left to work on a variety of projects. Most notable among them is Captain Beefheart's Clear Spot and Spotlight Kid, where his contributions were credited under the nom de plume of "Oréjon." The band did not suffer in the transition -- in fact, the contrary is arguably the case. A cursory scroll of the set list indicates that although the band is emphasizing material from their most recent release, they are likewise looking forward to their next album, Feats Don't Fail Me Now, with the ambitious "Cold Cold Cold/Tripe Face Boogie" medley. The rendering featured near the end of the early show actually goes one better by incorporating a scintillating version of "Dixie Chicken" smack dab in the middle of the two. Additionally, they preview "Wait 'Til the Shit Hits the Fan," which would become known simply as "The Fan" on most of the band's legit releases. The track's extra spicy syncopation flows effortlessly from "Got No Shadow." As well, there are also a few choice nods to their eponymously titled debut album. These include a rollicking "Hamburger Midnight," "Willin'" -- which quickly became one of Lowell George's signature tunes -- and a funky reading of "Snakes on Everything" highlighted by a blistering slide guitar solo courtesy of George. Although several tunes are repeated, they are reintroduced and otherwise integrated in an organic way. Little Feat deftly displays their unlikely musicality dipping into every genre and ultimately creating highly original works that have grown all the more distinctive in time. While this particular title may prove difficult to find, the performances have been "liberated" and otherwise widely distributed amongst traders and Little Feat enthusiasts alike. It is without question worth locating as precious few live documents from this seminal era have ever been issued in such stunning quality or completeness.

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