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Down Upon the Suwannee River Live

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, August 12, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It may have been the obtuse artistic and lyrical sensibilities of the late Lowell George that garnered Little Feat its cachet with critics, but it was the band's potent, Southern-rooted musical punch that carried it to fame in the late '70s. It's that dedicated sense of musicality--since infused with a little jazz, cool--that carried Feat onward for two decades, making them jam-band godfathers documented in this live set in the bargain. Recorded at a festival in Florida's Suwannee River Park, this double-disc's 17 live tracks pay early homage to George's legacy with swamp-savory workouts of "Spanish Moon," and "Sailin' Shoes." But any sense of nostalgia is blunted by the band's muscular groove in the show's first half and its adventurous, jam-savvy spirit in the last. There they range from lugubrious workouts of Bob Dylan's "It Takes A Lot to Laugh" and "Tripe Face Boogie" to a jazz and classically infused, near half-hour trek through "Dixie Chicken" and the gentle "Willin'" and rough-'n'-tumble "Fat Man in the Bathtub" that closes out the set. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Introduction
  2. All That You Dream
  3. Spanish Moon
  4. Skin It Back
  5. Big Bang Theory
  6. Bed Of Roses
  7. Cajun Girl
  8. Sailin' Shoes
  9. Rag Mama Rag
  10. Let It Roll

Disc: 2

  1. Lafayette Railroad
  2. Dixie Chicken
  3. Tripe Face Boogie
  4. It Takes A Lot To Laugh
  5. Oh Atlanta
  6. Willin'
  7. Fat Man In The Bathtub


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Hot Tomato Records
  • ASIN: B0000A4GDX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,808 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Down Upon The Suwannee River shows Little Feat continuing to soar as a live unit. The tight and eclectic musicianship, excellent vocals, and great songs, both old and new, show that the band is still near the top of their game. Anyone who thought Little Feat died with the passing of Lowell George will think differently upon listening to this album.

The album begins with the funky "All That You Dream" which features excellent guitar work from Paul Barrere. The funky "Spanish Moon", featuring the soulful vocals of percussionist Sam Clayton, shows the band could still jam over a funky groove like no other. This leads right into a killer version of "Skin It Back" which blows the original away. The newer songs "Bed Of Roses" and "Big Bang Theory" as well as the classic "Sailin' Shoes" are all great tracks, particularly the latter which spotlight the great vocal interplay of Barrere and Shaun Murphy. And speaking of more live versions blowing away the original, "Cajun Girl" is fantastic, featuring an awesome mandolin solo from Fred Tackett. The killer jamming continues on their cover of the Band's "Rag Mama Rag" and the ultimate version of "Let It Roll" which features phenomenal solos from both Barrere and pianist Bill Payne.

And that was just the first disc!

Disc 2 concentrates more on the Little Feat classics. "Lafayette Railroad" is pure laid back jazz and features an emotional trumpet solo from Tackett. This leads to a 27-minute tour de force version of "Dixie Chicken." Everybody gets to show off their chops here, especially Payne and bassist Kenny Gradney. The tune stays pretty laid back until Barrere's fiery solo kicks in around the 20-minute mark while Gradney and drummer Richie Hayward lay down a killer groove.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most of the reviews of this album come from long time fans. This album just hit me right and it has been a favorite ever since. The song selection and jams make this a great listening experience.

For those rating this album a two star effort, I'm not saying you are wrong. This album filled a void on one particular evening and it has been a favorite ever since.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent example of what you would hear if you were sitting by the soundboard at a live Little Feat show. Practically the entire show from that event is included here, save for one song I think, and they are presented in the actual original order. The bass is very strong, so it is a better mix than most of the soundboard or audience Feat show recordings in circulation - by the way, Little Feat allows soundboard recording by fans at their shows. It is great for them to put out a super quality recording on their own - thank you Oade Bros!
One note - the track listing on the 2nd disc should probably have read Dixie Chicken intro, then Lafayette Railroad/Dixie Chicken, but that's a small thing.
I gave 4 stars because as good as this disc is, I'd say 1) Live From Neon Park is a bit better, and 2) they didn't offer half star increments.
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Format: Audio CD
Hello folks,

I write this review belatedly, as I already owned the disc at the time of its original release, back in 2003. However, with the huge influx of bootleg Little Feat shows appearing in recent times, I thought it worthwhile to re-appraise this truly remarkable 2-disc set, as in all honesty, it really shines well above even their most recent live releases, ( yet alone the new(?) bootlegs appearing ), if only because it was for each band member, just one of those nights where taking a chance paid-off in a big way.

Musically, & sonically, it's the best I've ever heard them play, & I've got everything that they've ever put out & then some !!!

Everyone seems to want to compare later Little Feat releases against the Lowell George era albums of the 1970's, or in this instance, the later live releases against the famed "Waiting for Columbas", but I feel that it's important to take what's given on it's own merits, & find your own special moments within a recording, or you're only holding yourself back from growing, learning, & appreciating new things. "Waiting for Columbas" showed the world that the Feat can play there music better live, when compared to the studio albums. But what "Down Upon the Suwannee River" showcases, is a band that can turn their tunes inside out & keep both the listener & performer engaged for the whole duration of the show. The band only pulls-back-on-the-reigns for a brief sojourn with a fine rendition of Sailin' Shoes, & then the rest of the show continues on building momentum again, just like a train does after a brief stop, & before too-long the music is letting you check-out the scenery along the way once more. Remarkable improvisations from everyone on this album, from start to finish.
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Format: Audio CD
Yet another 2 CD live set from Little Feat - one of 4 in recent years. Some good versions of their more recent tracks but some real murder of the old Feat classics. I kept staring at the box to remind myself I was listening to Lafayette Railroad. As for the 27 minute version of Dixie Chicken, I fell asleep in Bill Payne's piano solo - when I woke up I thought I was listening to Rachmaninov. It's a great rock'n'roll song, and Payne is a fine rock'n'roll pianist, so give the song the respect it deserves. If you must buy this, stick with the first disc or learn how to program your player to skip at least the first 2 tracks of the second disc.
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