Letters To The Editor ...

Don't write like it's for free . . .

By the time you read this it will be too late. Already an estimated 33,000 of 12,000 printed copies (numbers taken from page 2 of LMN July issue. You do the math...) of your July 1995 issue are believing the misconstrued facts written in your 'Little Feat with Sonny Landreth' May 30 concert review.

First, you mentioned that Little Feat opened up their show with their hit 'Let it Roll' from the 1988 recording of the same name. They did open (for those of us in attendance) with 'Hate to Lose Your Lovin',' the first track on the 'Let it Roll' recording. The last song played by the band was 'Let it Roll.' They did the original recorded version of the song and then went into a series of excellent extended solos by all of the musicians, including Sonny Landreth. After all of the musicians had taken their turn in the spotlight, the band went into some kind of a of sing-along with the audience (you know "OK, now the left side...I can't hear you...") That was my cue to get the hell out of there. I find these efforts to drive the crowd into a frenzy over the performers by 'involving' them in the show to be much like 4th period music class in grade school. I think that upon recognizing one of these sing-alongs, everyone should immediately march single-file in an orderly fashion to the nearest exit and forget whey they've just seen and heard, making sure not to tell anyone about it, tarnishing the musical integrity of those performers. ("How was the concert?" "Oh fine. Just fine.")

Next you accuse Little Feat of borrowing a percussionist from Sonny Landreth's group to enhance their own sound. Sonny & Co. consist of Sonny, a bass player and one hell of a drummer (who coincidentally looked just like Kenny Arnoff). A trio. Three. 3. The percussion during the last half of Sonny's show and all of Little Feat's was provided by none other than Sam Clayton. Sam C;ayton has been with Little Feat on percussion and vocals since their reformation in 1987 (when I was first introduced to Little Feat) and has played on all four recordings since the reformation. He could have very well been an original founding member of the band in 1970 (I'm not sure since I wasn't even born in 1970). I figure that Sam was doing the ancient conga warm-up ritual and just happened to be doing it in time with Sonny's show. If those congas were ever accidentally started cold at the beginning of a Little Feat show, the results could be devastating. I will admit that Sam played with Sonny's band as if he had co-written the material, but he is spoken for.

Well anyway, I genuinely appreciate everyone at the Louisville Music News for publishing such good material for free, but you don't have to write like it's for free (just kidding!). People enjoy reading good concert reviews, but they enjoy reading accurate concert reviews even more.

Musically,

Damon T. Smith

Louisville, KY 40209

(You won't print this.)

(Wanna bet? We did, however, give Les Reynolds an opportunity to reply. —Editor.)

Thanks for writing—somebody's gotta keep us renegade freelancers in line.

Okay, ya got me on the reversed song order. Little Feat opened with "Hate to Lose Your Lovin'" and closed with "Let It Roll." A great big OOOPS! and an apology to the readers and Little Feat.

On the issue of misidentifying Landreth's (and, therefore Little Feat's) percussionist(s): I can only assume you are correct ... I actually thought I was seeing the same person on those congas all night. And the sound quality was simply too bad during both shows to catch the names of the band members.

As a reviewer, to review is exactly what I was supposed to do. So, in the future, I will stick to reviewing the music only and not try to become an instant expert on personnel. I accidentally violated a cardinal journalistic rule: WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.

Again, my apologies to the readers and both bands. -— Les Reynolds.)