Lowell George's Gospel Roots

James Lambert lamberts@PLDI.NET
Sun Jun 23 16:14:49 EDT 1996


In article <v01540b00adf2d77c3620@[155.212.212.42]>, mcglynn@IDS.NET
says...
>
>This morning while listening to the 2-CD Columbia collection "The Gospel
>Sound" as a cursory nod  to Sunday traditions, I experienced an epiphany
of
>sorts.
>
>Little Feat's "Sailin' Shoes" has stood the test of time for me as one
of
>the truly great songs to come out of the early seventies.  Just
something
>about it -- a haunting, almost spiritual quality to its structure and to
>Lowell George's vocal.
>
>Then, in mid-breakfast, it hit me.  Columbia's collection includes a
1934
>recording by Mitchell's Christian Singers called "Traveling Shoes" that,
>while certainly not the same song (nothing about "cocaine trees" as far
as
>I can make out), is similar enough to almost certainly have been
George's
>jumping-off point for his song.
>
>Has this been noted before?  Does anybody care?  Is it a "yes but so
what"?
>I dunno,
>but "Sailin' Shoes" has been enough of a favorite to make the similarity
>between the two make me sit up and take notice.
>
>Maybe  I'm just grabbing epiphanies where I can find them.
>
>Jim McGlynn
Lowell George has made many recordings to my opinion will stand the test
of time.  With Little Feat's self titled debut album through "Down on the
Farm" Lowell George was influenced by many genres of American music.  My
all time favorite album by Little Feat would have to be Dixie Chicken.
There's some great funk and some beautiful ballads (especially the
melancholy "Juliet") and his vocal on "Kiss it Off" is absolutely
haunting and beautiful. But there is something to like off every album
(with Lowell George).
I would recommend also you pick up "Happier Blue" by Chris Smither.  He
does a cover of "Rock N Roll Doctor" that surpasses the original.

James




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