With Rooster Rag—the first album of new studio material in nine years—Little Feat furthers its legacy as standard-bearers of bayou-friendly rock and swamp boogie. Except for an eight-year period of inactivity following the 1979 death of the band’s front man and chief visionary, Lowell George, Little Feat has been churning out its spicy gumbo of blues, rock, soul, gospel and funk for 43 years. Bill Payne (keyboards/vocals), who shared songwriting duties with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter on four cuts here, has been with the band from the start, and the tenures of core members Paul Barrere (guitar/mandolin/vocals), Kenny Gradney (bass) and Sam Clayton (percussion/backup vocals) each date back 40 years. Fred Tackett (lead guitar/vocals), who contributed four songs to the disc, is still kind of a new guy with only 25 years of service. And the experience shows: From the organ-heavy, guitar-pickin’, driving moments of the opening number, “Candy Man Blues” (Mississippi John Hurt), through the final riffs of a hard-rockin’, harmonica-fused version of Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy,” Rooster Rag satisfies.
Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett perform an acoustic set Thursday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., at Laxson Auditorium.