One Track Mind: Little Feat, "Spanish Moon (Live)" (2000)

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by Pico

So I was listening to this tune off of Hotcakes and Outtakes the other day on the Pico ‘Pod and ohmygawd it hit me: this blog has never respresented for Little Feat before! After all, we did promise to deliver musical musings in the realm of blues, rock and baby-boomer rock with a nod toward our Louisiana homeland, right? Let’s put the Feat to the SomethingElse! test:

Boomer rock: They were boomin’ in the seventies. Maybe not Eagles-style, but still…
The Blues: Isn’t that what the Fatman In The Bathtub got?
Jazz: Lowell George once sneered that Time Loves A Hero sounded like Weather Report.
Lousiana: “Dixie Chicken” may be the best creole soul song Allen Toussaint never wrote.

So yeah, maybe Little Feat should get a little mention around here.

Now, about this song in case you don’t already know. It was written by George for 1974’s Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, when he was at the peak of his songwiriting powers. It’s a swampy groove, built around a cyclical bass line. And man, I do love songs built around a bass line. The lyrics paint a picture of a sleazy, dangerous place the song is named after, full of lust, whiskey and “bad cocaine”, almost a respinning of the sordid tale told in “Tin Pan Alley”. Robert Palmer alertly picked up this song a couple of years later and topped the original by a mile.

But this live version by Feat (I’m too lazy to track down the year this version was taped, so sue me) might be even better than Palmer’s. The tight percussion initially joined by a plucking guitar, Kenny Gradney chugging out that boss bass line and George occasionally singing just a half beat behind the background vocals gives you an idea what a primo live act these guys must have been during their heyday. You’d be prone to agree if you’re willin’ to listen for yourself:

“One Track Mind” is a weekly drool over a single song selected on a whim and a short thesis on why you should be drooling over it, too.

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