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Dixie Chicken

4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1973 album includes "Roll Um Easy",'Juliette', & 'Fool Yourself'.

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Everything came together for Little Feat's third album. An expanded lineup gave the Feat a more supple rhythmic base, Lowell George penned some of his strongest numbers, and they developed an oozy studio sound that suited them to a T. The title track, "Fat Man in a Bathtub," and "Two Trains" distilled compounded rhythms, wailing background vocals, and adroit wordplay into an intoxicating soul-rock swill. In many ways, Dixie Chicken stands as a kind of kissing cousin to the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, which hit the streets one year earlier. While not as expansive as the Stones' magnum opus, its highlights are every bit as spectacular. --Steve Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002KEP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,279 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It would be accurate to describe Little Feat in its original configuration as a very good band fronted by a genius, but it doesn't adequately acknowledge just how very, very good the other members of the band were. Lowell George was on a totally different level than the other members, but they weren't dispensable for all that. Although both LITTLE FEAT and SAILIN' SHOES, their first two albums, are exceedingly close to being as fine as the masterful DIXIE CHICKEN, what separates the latter for the previous two is the astonishingly accomplished playing of the other band members. George remains the focal point of the group, writing an exceptional set of songs and providing powerful lead vocals, but far more than the earlier two albums, the rest of the band holds its own. Stylistically, this one shows a deep influence by New Orleans music, and even features an Allen Toussaint tune.

Although they went on to release a couple of more decent albums before their break up in the late 1970s, as well as an exceptional live album WAITING FOR COLUMBUS, this represents Little Feat's supreme studio achievement. Absolutely everything clicks on this album, and the eclectic nature of all the songs seems utterly natural. The band manages throughout the album to sound simultaneously restrained and impassioned. Unlike many bands who work in a variety of styles, they never sound like they are doing a parody of any genre.

Despite the improvements in the band as a whole, this is still Lowell George's outfit. George undoubtedly belongs to a short list of musicians whose premature death (of a heart attack at age 34) deprived us of a significant body of work. I have been amazed at how many of my musically astute friend are not aware of George.
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Format: Audio CD
It was quite a complement to bassist Roy Estrada that when he left Little Feat to rejoin the Mothers, he should be replaced by no fewer than three musicians: a bassist, another guitarist and another percussionist. SAILIN' SHOES had been well-regarded but commercially unsuccessful (until its CD re-release). Lowell George continued to write songs about his drugs habit, which was getting worse: going from 'cocaine trees' to the 'Fat Man in the Bathtub'.
Paul Barrere auditioned on bass and failed. Thankfully George gave him a second chance -- this time, on guitar. Barrere's guitar noodles are vital to the Feat sound.
What overpowers me about this album is the barrage of excessively good tracks: no sooner have you got over the perfection of 'Dixie Chicken', than you have the intricate rhythms and guitar work of 'Two Trains' to handle. And then the acoustic marvel that is 'Roll Um Easy'. Outstanding tracks keep coming, and they still haven't reached either of my two favourites, the keyboards-led 'Kiss It Off' and the gorgeous love-song, 'Juliette'. The keyboards are excellent throughout this album. Malcolm Cecil, who introduced Stevie Wonder to the synthesizer prior to MUSIC OF MY MIND, provides the dominant instrumental contribution to 'Kiss It Off' (as he did on the Doobie Brothers' CAPTAIN & ME).
The album is a masterpiece, but commercially it dived, at least initially. Maybe it was something as crazy as the cover, which is one of Neon Park's plainest and least surreal, which failed to attract enough buyers. Warner Brothers didn't know what to do with the LP, later re-issuing it as a very cheap double LP with SAILIN' SHOES.
By the time that THE LAST RECORD ALBUM was released, people began to appreciate DIXIE CHICKEN's classic status.
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Format: Audio CD
Dixie Chicken is Little Feat's third album and is regarded among longtime fans as their best work. Like their previous albums, Little Feat and Sailin' Shoes, Dixie Chicken would garner much critical acclaim but slow sales. The album also showed a change in direction in their music. While Sailin' Shoes was steeped in country, blues, and boogie music, Dixie Chicken is laid back and funkier. This would also be the album to debut longtime Feat members Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, and Kenny Gradney. Barrere, in particular, would play a pivotal role in the band, gradually writing more songs with their later releases and would be the major voice of the band when they regrouped in 1988.

But Lowell George was still the star of the show on Dixie Chicken, writing most of the songs and adding those gruff distinctive lead vocals to every track. As for the songs, they're all very good although I believe the tracks on Sailin' Shoes are slightly better overall. The title track is to this day the band's best and most memorable song, featuring clever wordplay and slide guitar from George and a memorable piano hook from Bill Payne. Country superstar Garth Brooks would later do a respectable cover of this in the `90s, in effect introducing the greatness of Little Feat to a whole new audience. "Fat Man in the Bathtub", another one of George's great story songs, is arguably their second best track with Richie Hayward lending the opening hook with his busy drum line. While the rest of the tracks aren't as widely known, they're all very strong.
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