Little Feat - Mellow Down Easy
Rochester Hills, Mi. - August 13, 1992 - Masterport-169 - Aud 4
GeetarzComments: Recorded at the Meadowbrook Theater. Nice remastered audience recording, quite listenable and fun. Eric Clapton sits in on "Mellow Down Easy" and "A Apolitical Blues".
Featroller Review, Guitar God Edition:
This remarkable boot made my eyes pop when the prolific uploader Geetarz posted it at dimeadozen.org. I hadn't known that the Feat had played with Clapton. Turns out this was the second time (the other was in 1988 -- thanks to Feat historian Holger Siebert). And it does not disappoint. They kick off with Willie Dixon's Mellow Down Easy, EC ripping through his patented fiery solos. You can tell that when it's Paul's turn on slide, he's giving it everything he has. It's a wonderful performance by all.
Then Paul and Sam segue into Bo Diddley's Say Man, a hilarious vocal back-and-forth (Google the lyrics to get an idea of the full-blown original). EC follows with another blistering solo, then it's into Apolitical Blues. Craig's vocal is as inspired as I've ever heard from him. The only shortcoming is that it ends too soon. But the whole medley has got to stand as one of the classic episodes in Feat history.
Oh yeah, the rest of the show... Down On The Farm is Paul and Fred as the acoustic duo, the way they normally played it in those years. And there's a great Paul and Fred guitar duel at the end of Shake Me Up, like the one they currently play as an intro to Texas Twister, but with Paul on slide. As with the rest of the show, it is terrific but short, evidently limited by sharing the bill with Thorogood.
The other main highlight is Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie, with guests Chuck Leavall (from EC's band, also plays with some other group called the Rolling Stones) on keys -- sounds like primarily B3 organ to me. And Alto Reed from Bob Seger's band adds his sax to the mix. (A sax player named Alto Reed? That can't be his real name... :-)
We're not so lucky that the sound matches the performance. Geetarz rates it 4 out of 6. That seems right. But it's very listenable, as he says, and fun indeed -- you can feel how much the band is enjoying themselves. For hardcore Featfans, though, it's more than just fun. It's a must-have.