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Little Feat spawns acoustic duo

Wren Wertin

Little fleetEvent: Barrre & Tackett of Little FeatTime/Place: 6:30 p.m. today, Checkpoint Charlie, Vail VillageVAIL – Little Feat minus an enormous rhythm section equals Paul Barrre and Fred Tackett. And the folks putting together the Budweiser Street Beat concert series have booked them as this week’s entertainment.According to Barrre, fans of Little Feat will enjoy the show, despite the fact that the rest of the band won’t be there.”The rhythm section isn’t prevalent,” he said. “So instead of the band and musicians being in the spotlight, the focus is on the songs.” They’re used to playing outside, having appeared at numerous festivals over the years. They’re not so accustomed to playing outdoors in the middle of winter in the Rockies, but they’re willing to give it a shot. Barrre promises there’ll be lots of dancing to keep people warm, and the song selection will include some Little Feat tunes.”Some of the songs were written for this setting, and others take on a new character,” said Barrre. “So you get a folk-blues atmosphere instead of rock. You get the essence of the words, though words are so subjective.””I love it when someone comes up to me and says, ‘I know exactly what you meant in that song.’ It means something different to everyone. But I’m always open for interpretation,” he added.Barrre and Tackett began playing as an acoustic duo for purely promotional reasons. A couple of band members would have to go to the radio station for an interview and musical teaser, so they’d head out together. Positive responses continually poured in, and they began doing a few shows a year. The clincher came in a Japanese promoter soliciting a “coffee house tour” in Japan. Willing to try anything new, they acquiesced.They’ve returned to Japan twice, and have a new album coming out, which will be available at the show.”This is a fun project for us,” said Barrre. “We sit down, play some acoustic songs, let out some goofy secrets and tell stories about music stars.”Barrre’s guitar and voice are joined by Tackett’s guitar, mandolin and trumpet. Tackett hails from a family in which everyone played the trumpet, “‘cept mom.” He’s been playing on Little Feat albums since 1972, though he didn’t officially join the group until 1987.In addition to touring with Barrre and Little Feat, he’s also hit the road with Bob Dylan, Bob Seger and Boz Skaggs.Barrre joined Little Feat when he was 22. Thirty years later, he’s amazed he’s played with the same bunch of guys for so long. “I love it,” he said. “The music hasn’t changed, it’s just grown. We’ve never been a band that played music like the rest of the world. It’s based on old blues and rock ‘n’ roll, then it progressively had more ingredients thrown in – Latin, Cajun, Afri-cubano… It’s always been kind of a gumbo pot. But the music itself is so rewarding. It feels great.”In addition to touring, Barrre is spending time in the studio, playing “Mr. Studio Ears.” He welcomes the Street Beat concert as a break in the long process of producing. The new album will be released in May.”There’s something about playing in front of an audience that you don’t get in the studio,” he said. “I love them both, but I see how people could become studio bands because of rigors of the road.”Despite the outside venue, there won’t be too many rigors for them on this trip, as it’s a one-concert deal.”Little Feat fans will love it,” he said. “People love coming out and seeing a piece of Little Feat. If they’re looking to see ‘NSync, this is not the thing to do.”Giveaways for the concert include Colorado Mountain Express tickets, his-and-hers Napapijri sweaters, a trip to Harrahs at Lake Tahoe, a Hyperlite Wake Board and up to $500 in cash. Summit, Eagle and Lake County residents can also register for the grand prize, his-and-hers Harley Davidson motorcycles, to be given away March 13.Paul Barrre and Fred Tackett perform today at Checkpoint Charlie in Vail Village at 6:30 p.m. The show is free.


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