Little Feat “Rooster Rag”

Posted 28 Jun 2012 in Albums of 2012, Albums of the 10s, Blues-Rock



Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#727 in the Series) is Little Feat, Rooster Rag 

Little Feat has been on the proud highway since 1969, their first release in nine years is a collection of good ole Americana music that may be appreciated by baby boomers only, just because they have been flying under the top 40 radar for 43 years. And of course some music historians will say, “It’s not the same without Lowell George” and since the passing of every drummers hero, Richie Hayward, how could they possibly go on. No, it’s not the same, but the boys are still getting it done.

When I first heard a Rooster Rag preview, I skimmed through, looking for the tune that would slam me against the wall like some of the earlier Feat tunes as featured on one of the best live albums ever recorded, “Waiting For Columbus”. At first, i didn’t hear that. After going back and hearing the new album, which is also is also available on vinyl, I found myself humming these new tunes in my head. With the help of Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, an older but craftier Feat has recorded a smooth combination of Cajun, country, rock, blues that has been their trademark..

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not recognized Little Feat because of the word “fame”, but if the criteria is influence, then ask Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and even the Stones what they think.

Four original members remain from the Feats’s inception; Paul Barrere Bill Payne, Ken Gradney and Sam Clayton keep the ball rolling, Fred Tackett wrote songs with Lowell in the beginning, and now adds a twist with mandolin and horns. After the passing of Richie Hayward on drums music disciple Gabe Ford, has done a remarkable job of taking what he learned from Richie as very few possibly could.

Rooster Rag has a bit more country flair, with Fred’s mandolin and a guest appearance by fiddle master, Larry Campbell.

Starting with Mississippi John Hurts’ “Candy Man”, the album starts with a good vibe, “Rooster Rag,” the title track, co-written by Hunter and Billy is the feature tune with Larry’s fiddle. “Church Fallin’ Down” is Fred’s tune and is sultry and smooth.

“Salome” is a Robert Hunter collaboration reminiscent of “The Last Record Album” days. “Just a Fever” has Paul open up on slide in a boogie that can fit in a live set. “Rag Top Down” is Bill remembering his old cruising days. “Way Down Under” fits right in an old Feat set list. “Jamaica Will Break Your Heart” is the one that stuck in my brain and Tattooed Girl” by Fred, rounds it out.

All and all, a great feel good story about a legendary band, still on the road after 43 years, and coming to a town near you, long live Da Feat, Hoy Hoy!

— Randal Ahlswede

Track listing

  1. Candy Man Blues (Mississippi John Hurt)
  2. Rooster Rag (Bill Payne/Robert Hunter)
  3. Church Falling Down (Fred Tackett)
  4. Salome (Bill Payne/Robert Hunter)
  5. One Breath at a Time (Fred Tackett)
  6. Just a Fever (Paul Barrere/Stephen Bruton)
  7. Rag Top Down (Bill Payne/Robert Hunter)
  8. Way Down Under (Bill Payne/Robert Hunter)
  9. Jamaica Will Break Your Heart (Fred Tackett)
  10. Tattoo Girl (Fred Tackett)
  11. The Blues Keep Coming (Bill Payne/Gabe Ford)
  12. Mellow Down Easy (Willie Dixon)


  • Paul Barrere – guitars, slide guitar, vocals
  • Sam Clayton – congas, vocals
  • Gabe Ford – drums, vocals
  • Kenny Gradney – bass
  • Bill Payne – keyboards, vocals
  • Fred Tackett – guitar. vocals, mandolin

Additional personnel

  • Larry Campbell – fiddle on “Rooster Rag” and “Salome”
  • Texicali Horns – brass on “Jamaica Will Break Your Heart” and “One Breath At A Time”
  • Kim Wilson – harmonica on “Mellow Down Easy”


Give it a listen below…

Some info on The Making of Rooster Rag

Here are some live videos of some of the new tracks!

Posted by Larry Carta

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