Album: Little Feat, Join the Band (Proper)

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The Independent Culture

There's nothing wrong with a band reviewing their own history in the company of a few guests, but if the collaborators are mostly drawn from country music, it does tend to skew things too much in that direction.

Which is fine if it's Vince Gill delving into the New Orleans funk of "Dixie Chicken" and "Spanish Moon", but rather less welcome if it's mainstream stalwarts Brooks & Dunn imposing their somewhat po-faced approach on the usually sublime "Willin'". The comparisons become more evident when a proper rock voice is employed, whether it's Bob Seger's brawny growl on the rollicking rockabilly R&B of "Something in the Water", or Chris Robinson's fiery Southern sneer hot-wiring his hometown anthem "Oh Atlanta".

Covers of Huey Smith's "Don't Ya Just Know It" and The Band's "The Weight" are treated with due respect, the latter enlightened by Bela Fleck's funky mandolin, while elsewhere Lowell George's daughter Inara offers a touching solo "Trouble", and Emmylou Harris enlists various bluegrass chums to transform "Sailing Shoes" into a proper hoedown.

Pick of the album:'Dixie Chicken', 'Spanish Moon', 'Something in the Water', 'Oh Atlanta', 'Trouble'