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Landmark’s Acoustic Series Brings Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett

Little Feat guitarists demonstrate musical virtuosity.

Landmark on Main Street’s “Acoustics on Main” series continued on Saturday, March 2, with an enthusiastic performance by the guitarists for Little Feat – Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett.

The band Little Feat has seen many incarnations since it was first formed in 1969 by Lowell George, a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Over the past 40-odd years, the band has lost several members (including the untimely death of George in 1979), but has persevered in various formations. Barrere has been with the band since 1972, and Tackett since 1987 (although he collaborated with Little Feat prior to his officially joining the band).

Little Feat’s mix of country, rock, blues and boogie has impressed legions of fans over the last four decades, and the band’s songs have been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Garth Brooks, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Carly Simon, Joe Walsh, Linda Rondstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Jimmy Buffet, to mention just a few. In fact, legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page called Little Feat his favorite American band in a 1975 interview in Rolling Stone Magazine.

Both Barrere and Tackett are superb musicians, and both clearly love to play. Their great joy in performing was evident at Landmark – the two performers laughed, joked, and jammed together as though they were in their own living room. They covered a broad range of Little Feat tunes, including the fan favorites “Down on the Farm,” “Candyman Blues,” “Dixie Chicken” and “Hate to Lose.” Barrere plays a mean slide guitar, and when he wasn’t playing guitar, Tackett demonstrated his proficiency on the mandolin. The two traded riffs energetically, seeming to enjoy playing as much as the audience was enjoying listening. It’s worth noting that the audience was quite vocal – yelling out song requests and suggestions. Also of note was their beautiful cover of The Band’s “The Weight.”

Despite their sparse setup – just two guitars and a mandolin – Barrere and Tackett created a very full sound. The two took turns on lead vocal, and did some nice harmonies (especially on the aforementioned “The Weight.”) There was even some audience participation on the “weed, whites and wine” line from the song “Willin’” as well as the entertaining “Don’t Bogart That Joint.” The two guitarists closed with “Roll Um Easy” and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now.”

The audience’s awe at the musical talent of Barrere and Tackett was best summed up by an audience member who was overheard saying “I’m going to go home and burn my guitar” after the show.

The next show at Landmark is a double bill of Susan Werner and Patty Larkin on Saturday, March 9th. For information, visit www.landmarkonmainstreet.org.

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