Premiere: Little Feat Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of ‘Waiting for Columbus’ with New Version of “Fat Man In The Bathtub”

December 9, 2021
Premiere: Little Feat Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of ‘Waiting for Columbus’ with New Version of “Fat Man In The Bathtub”

Little Feat 2021: Sam Clayton, Scott Sharrard, Bill Payne, Tony Leone, Fred Tackett and Kenny Gradney (l-r): photo by Hank Randall

On March 4, 2022 Little Feat will kick off a tour that will celebrate of the 45th anniversary of their acclaimed live album Waiting for Columbus. Over the course of 21 dates the band will perform the album in its entirety at every show.

Waiting for Columbus was originally recorded during seven live nights in 1977 when the band brought a recording team to four shows in London and three in Washington D.C.

Little Feat’s current roster features Bill Payne (keyboard, vocals), Kenny Gradney (bass), Sam Clayton (percussion, vocals), Fred Tackett (guitar, vocals), Scott Sharrard (guitar, vocals) and Tony Leone (drums). 

In anticipation of the tour, Little Feat has recorded a new version of “Fat Man in the Bathtub,” which we are premiering today.

Bill Payne tells Relix, “The waters flow swiftly from the way back and beyond. Little Feat recorded ‘Fat Man In The Bathtub’ for Dixie Chicken in 1972, released by WB in 1973. This gem of a song, written and sung by Lowell George, is quintessential Little Feat: provocative lyrics and vocals—particularly from the evocative moans, accompanying a ganged-up-upon-groove with a pitbull’s grip. Hovering above it all, a signature da-da-da-da-da-da-da!da! lick, both punctuating and melodic—East LA mariachi horns blasting out of a lowrider’s car with twice pipes. A dangerous and fun ride.

“The ride continues in 2021. This version of ‘Fat Man’ was recorded remotely in 2020. I recorded the keyboard tracks from my home in Montana and sent them to our new drummer, Tony Leone, who lives in Brooklyn. We added to the tracks from there. Charles A. Martinez (Little Feat’s engineer) commanded proceedings also from the NY area, recording Tony in Harlem. I joined the session from my computer in Montana. My instructions to Tony were simple, “In my keyboard solo, I want to hear Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, and Richie Hayward!” He laughed and said, “No pressure!” He absolutely nailed it.

El baile de las guitarras (The dance of the guitars) features Fred Tackett, on the West Coast and new member Scott Sharrard, on the East Coast. The Midnight Ramble Horns delivered the goods, as they always do. Eric Lawrence’s bari carves brilliantly through the syncopation of horns and keyboards, culminating with a barrage of anguished cries. Steven Bernstein, on trumpet, whose arrangement skills adorn the tracks, and Jay Collins on sax, round out the horn section, hitting the da-da-da’s, and more. We turned to the talented and gifted Catherine Russell for background vocal arrangements, whose inner weavings took inspiration from the original but were elevated to another plateau with her firm imprint and the additional presence of Amy Helm joining the vocal conversation, leaving Spotcheck Billy gasping for air.

“Who is Spotcheck Billy? I thought for many years it could have been me. I never asked Lowell George so I’ll never really know. Kenny Gradney’s bass brought the song to its knees. Sam Clayton’s unique vocal skills, along with his bigger-than-life congas, were the perfect handshake for Catherine, Amy, and Tony. Kenny and Sam came into the band in 1972 from Delaney & Bonnie. Little Feat has been their home ever since, and they shine as they always have, along with everyone else in the band, with conviction, spontaneity and a feel that cannot be touched. The waters are in full flow, once again.”

Little Feat will return to the stage on January 20 at the Charleston Music Hall in Charleston, SC as part of the group’s By Request Tour. Then from January 30 through February 5 the band will host Feat Camp 2022 in Runaway Bay, Jamaica with the band’s full tour itinerary below.

Little Feat 2022 Tour Dates

January 20 Charleston, SC Charleston Music Hall
January 22 Daytona Beach, FL Peabody Auditorium
January 23 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Parker Playhouse
January 25 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
January 26 Melbourne, FL The King Center for the Performing Arts
January 27 Fort Pierce, FL Sunrise Theatre
January 30- February 5 Runaway Bay, Jamaica Feat Camp 2022 – Jewel Paradise Cove
February 14-18 Port Canaveral, FL Rock Legends Cruise
March 4 Columbus, OH Southern Theatre
March 5 Kalamazoo, MI Kalamazoo State Theatre
March 7 Milwaukee, WI The Pabst Theater
March 8 Des Moines, IA Hoyt Sherman Place
March 10 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
March 11 Chesterfield, MO The Factory at the District
Sunday, March 13 Nashville, IN Brown County Music Center
March 14 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
March 16 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
March 17 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
March 19 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theatre
March 20 Birmingham, AL Alabama Theatre
March 22 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Symphony Hall
March 23 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre
March 25 New Orleans, LA Saenger Theatre
March 26 Houston, TX 713 Music Hall
March 27 Dallas, TX Majestic Theatre
April 09 Akron, OH Akron Civic Theatre
April 10 Rochester, NY Kodak Center
April 12 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
April 15 Wilkes-Barre, PA F.M. Kirby Center For The Performing Arts
April 16 Washington, DC DAR Constitution Hall
April 19 Richmond, VA Dominion Energy Center
April 20 Virginia Beach, VA Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
April 21 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre of Durham
April 23 Savannah, GA Johnny Mercer Theatre
April 24 Charlotte, NC Knight Theater
May 26 Asheville, NC Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville
May 27 Martinsville, VA Rooster Walk 12
Sunday, May 29 Chillicothe, IL Summer Camp Music Festival
July 26 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theatre
July 27 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
July 29 Greenwood Village, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
August 1 Sandy, UT Sandy Amphitheater
August 3 Bozeman, MT The ELM
August 4 Bonner, MT KettleHouse Amphitheater
August 6 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
August 7 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
August 9 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
August 10 Sacramento, CA Crest Theatre
August 12 Los Angeles, CA Theatre at Ace Hotel
August 14 San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
August 15 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
August 25- August 28 Las Vegas, NV Big Blues Bender – Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino