Video Premiere: Little Feat Lean into the Blues on Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Be Satisfied”

April 17, 2024
Video Premiere: Little Feat Lean into the Blues on Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Be Satisfied”

Photo Credit: Fletcher Moore

On May 17, Little Feat will release its first studio project in 12 years, the debut blues entry, Sam’s Place, via Hot Tomato Productions/MRI. Led by the distinct Southern-tinged vocals of linchpin conga player Sam Clayton, Muddy Water’s original “Can’t Be Satisfied” exemplifies the band’s intentional genre lean, a feature of the collection, by inviting fans and followers into the studio to become immersed in the tracking of the beloved blues classic. 

Acknowledging the band’s extensive performance history and use of Water’s original, which has percolated setlists and stunned audiences since the early ‘90s, founding member Bill Payne told Relix, “This song was one we played back-to-back for many years with ‘Hot Tamales.’ Tony Leone got hold of the rhythm track and gave it new life with a walking tempo. Yes, it’s a dark song with pistols in the face and the like, but there is a joy in the track, uplifting and impossible not to love.” 

Speaking to the video drop, which serves as a Relix exclusive, Payne continued, “You want to know what’s as fun as listening to Little Feat on Sam’s Place? Watching the video of “Can’t Be Satisfied!” You are brought into the studio with us. The smiles are real, the music kicks, and you can’t get much closer to the action than this!”

The “Can’t Be Satisfied” video captures camaraderie in the studio as band members take turns unveiling their instrumental prowess. Instrumental interplay is positioned with complimentary shots of encouragement, smiles, and nods, condoning the product of their individual and collective creation some 55 years after the initial rumblings of Little Feat. 

Speaking to today’s choice number and its place as an album feature, guitarist and vocalist Scott Sharrard remarked, “You can’t make a blues album without playing some Muddy Waters, and Little Feat has performed this on live shows over the years. What sets this rendition apart is Tony Leone’s nod to Levon Helm with the drum groove. This arrangement takes you from Mississippi up to Chicago and lands down in Arkansas, where both Fred Tackett and Levon Helm were born.”

Sam’s Place finds band members Payne (keyboards and vocals), Clayton (percussion and vocals), Fred Tackett (guitars and vocals), Kenny Gradney (bass), Sharrard (guitars and vocals), and Tony Leone (drums and vocals) conjuring the spirit of the blues across nine tracks, including covers from Willie Dixon, Walter Jacobs and Preston Foster, in addition to solo original, “Milkman.” 

Contrived by Payne, his music accomplices soon received the idea for the LP. The first inkling of what was to come arrived during the group’s sound checks and took the form of the new song, “Milk Man,” scribed by Clayton, Sharrard and Tackett. Bonnie Raitt also assisted in formulating the tracking list, suggesting the inclusion of Howlin’ Wolf’s tune “You Will Be Mine,” while Sharrard proposed the Bobby Charles tune “Why People Like That.” 

On the project, Clayton 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.” 

Watch the band’s Relix premiered “Can’t Be Satisfied” music video below.

Pre-order Sam’s Place now.