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Little Feat announces new blues album, “Sam’s Place”

LITTLE FEAT, one of rock’s signature and most acclaimed bands, are inviting everyone to join them over at SAM’S PLACE. Due out May 17 on Hot Tomato Productions/MRI. It marks the band’s first new studio album in 12 years, first-ever blues album and the first one to feature linchpin conga player Sam Clayton on lead vocals on every song. This joyously blues-soaked party gets started with the album’s first single/video “You’ll Be Mine,” a cover of the Willie Dixon-written chestnut popularized by Howlin’ Wolf.

The members of LITTLE FEAT 2024 are: Bill Payne, Keyboards and Vocals; Sam Clayton, Percussion and Vocals; Fred Tackett, Guitars and Vocals, Kenny Gradney, Bass; Scott Sharrard, Guitars and Vocals; and Tony Leone, drums and vocals. Their individual musical chops and collective chemistry light up the nine-track SAM’S PLACE, which was waxed at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, TN (August 2023), except for “Got My Mojo Working (Live),” recorded live at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, CO (December 17, 2022). This is the first LITTLE FEAT album recorded with new members Sharrard and Leone.

The band’s longtime friend, the beloved Bonnie Raitt, provides vocals on the Muddy Waters gem “Long Distance Call,” a duet with Sam, and the album’s other special guests are Michael “Bull” LoBue on harmonica, Marc Franklin on trumpet, and Art Edmaiston on saxophone on select songs.

LITTLE FEAT emerged from the pandemic with their sense of humor, chops, and collective joy in playing intact—and their creativity has been renewed with SAM’S PLACE. The idea for the album started with Bill, but the whole band jumped in. They started working on songs at sound checks. Sam, Scott and Fred wrote a new song, “Milk Man.” Visiting backstage at a FEAT show, Bonnie Raitt suggested the Howlin’ Wolf tune “You Will Be Mine.” Scott suggested “Why People Like That,” a Bobby Charles tune. Sam chose the Willy Dixon-penned “Don’t Go No Further,” a deep Muddy track. And they included a live version of “Got My Mojo Working.” 

Scott had recorded in Memphis, and they eventually found their way to the second Phillips (the first was Sun Studios, where Elvis began his career) studio there, complete with Jerry Lee Lewis’s piano, which Bill noted “practically played itself.” FEAT’s a rock band, but as Scott observed, at the end “the blues is home,” and they basically recorded it live in the studio, in the tradition. Their playing is at an all-time high, and Bill thought their musical conversation was “flawless.”

Sam was a happy vocalist. His own “Milk Man,” a song about his nephew, has lyrics from his wife, Joni.  The duet with Bonnie on “Long Distance Call,” he humbly admitted, was classic. “We go good together, man.” “Last Night” was done in memory of Sam’s very good friend, the late Ed Bradley of Sixty Minutes. And “Why People Like That” was particularly satisfying. “I just like the way the slide sounds and everything. I knew Scott is a great slide player too, plus he is a great lead guitarist. And I know we would put our touch to it, the Little Feat touch. So we just sort of did it. Scott just adds a lot to it and he answers to what I’m singing.”

SAM’S PLACE scratches a deep itch. Sam added, “I’m very happy because I was never expecting anything like that. I mean, I have wanted to, but I just wasn’t expecting it to come to fruition. It was a long wait, but it’s satisfying.” 

TRACK LISTING

1.   Milkman- Written by Sam Clayton (ASCAP), Fred Tackett for Hoceanna Music (ASCAP), and Scott Sharrard for Brickyard Blues Music BMI 
2.   You’ll Be Mine – Written by Willie Dixon for Hoochie Coochie Music (BMI)
3.   Long Distance Call – Written by Muddy Waters for Watertoons (BMI)
4.   Don’t Go No Further – Written by Willie Dixon for Hoochie Coochie Music (BMI)
5.   I Can’t Be Satisfied – Written by Muddy Waters for Watertoons (BMI)
6.   Last Night – Written by Walter Jacobs for ARC Music (BMI)
7.   Why People Like That – Written by Bobby Charles for Street People Songs (BMI)
8.   Mellow Down Easy – Written by Willie Dixon for BMG Bumblebee (BMI)
9.   Got My Mojo Working (Live) – Written by Preston Foster for Dar Music, Inc (BMI) 

TOUR DATES

DATELOCATIONVENUEBILLING / SUPPORT
Friday, May 31Berkeley, CAGreek TheatreSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Saturday, June 1Berkeley, CAGreek TheatreSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Tuesday, June 4Reno, NVGrand Sierra TheatreSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Wednesday, June 5Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara BowlSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Friday, June 7Los Angeles, CAGreek TheatreSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Saturday, June 8San Diego, CACal Coast Credit Union AmphitheaterSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Sunday, June 9Los Angeles, CAGreek TheatreSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Thursday, June 13Cary, NCKoka Booth AmphitheaterHeadline
Friday, June 14Baltimore, MDPier Six PavilionHeadline
Monday, June 17Pittsburgh, PACarnegie Music Hall of OaklandHeadline
Tuesday, June 18Cincinnati, OHPNC PavilionHeadline
Thursday, June 20Indianapolis, INEverwise Amphitheater at White River State ParkHeadline
Friday, June 21Grand Rapids, MIMeijer Gardens AmphitheaterHeadline
Saturday, June 22Highland Park, ILRavinia FestivalCo-Headline w/ Los Lobos
Monday, June 24Evansville, INVictory TheatreHeadline
Tuesday, June 25St. Louis, MOThe FactoryHeadline
Wednesday, June 26Kansas City, MOUptown TheaterHeadline
Friday, June 28Sioux Falls, SDWashington PavilionHeadline
Saturday, June 29Saint Paul, MNFitzgerald TheaterHeadline
Sunday, June 30Mankato, MNVetter Stone AmphitheaterHeadline
Tuesday, July 2Des Moines, IAHoyt Sherman PlaceHeadline
Wednesday, July 3Omaha, NEThe AstroHeadline
Friday, July 5Morrison, CORed RocksSupporting The Avett Brothers
Sunday, August 25Bethel Woods, NYBethel Woods Center for the ArtsSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Wednesday, August 28Philadelphia, PAThe Mann CenterSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band
Saturday, August 31Saratoga Springs, NYSaratoga Performing Arts CenterSupporting Tedeschi Trucks Band

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