The south of the United States is emblematic for many people. It is full of mystery and history; the culture is awash with the unknown; at least for the uninitiated. This unexplainable aura has drawn many over the years to the sights and sounds of the south, for it is an area awash in culture. It is a place where all of your senses can be indulged, from music to food.
By the title, and introduction, you might have thought this article had more to do with food, but sorry to disappoint you, it is not about food. It's true on the other hand, if you consider music as something that nourishes the soul. If you do then Dixie Chicken is an album that you need to check out, especially if the geographic location in the title of the album appeals to you, as it has to so many others who love the music of this magical region.
A landmark album, Dixie Chicken is the production of the southern rock mavericks, Little Feat. The southern sound of Little Feat (especially localized to New Orleans) may be a bit of a surprise when one considers that the band hailed from Los Angeles initially. The baseline of their musical stylings were always apparent, and were consistent throughout their records, even though they were capable of working in other styles.
Chief musician and lyricist, Lowell George, had previously been a member of Frank Zappa's infamous band, The Mothers of Invention. It was while in the Mothers that George met future band mate Bill Payne, when Payne auditioned for the Mothers. Due to circumstances that have never been made public, George was fired from the Mothers by Frank. There were apparently no hard feelings as Frank went on to help George secure a record deal.
Dixie Chicken was released in February of 1973, and quickly rose to prominence in the bands canon of work. This album also saw the band solidify its signature sound, which was seen as a musical departure from previous releases. The complexity and sophistication of their music is not apparent on first listen, but was superior to their peers, even though their tone is mellow and easy to listen to. For the New Orleans slow burning funk movement, this was the album that future music was referenced to.
Not a popular album initially for Dixie Chicken, it has grown more popular with the public over time. It is now considered to be one of the best albums released in the seventies and also one of the most influential. You would be hard pressed to find a review from a major music magazine or book that does not give this album the highest rating possible. Little Feat's subsequent albums and their financial success, were build upon the popularity of this album.
To this day Little Feat continues to tour for a large receptive fan base. Band leader, Lowell George, passed away on June 29, 1979, but his spirit lives on with the band. It took the band almost ten years to recover from the loss of George, but they came back as strong as ever with their aptly titled 1988 album, Let it Roll. Check out Dixie Chicken today and see what all the fuss is about.
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