Paul Barrere sadly died on this date in 2019 from complications due to liver cancer. He was 71 years old. Barrere was born on July 3, 1948 in Burbank, California. Paul and Little Feat co-founder Lowell Geroge attended Hollywood High School together and Barerre auditioned as the band’s founding bassist but wouldn’t join until 1972 as a second guitarist and songwriter.
Along with beloved tunes like “Skin It Back” and “All That Your Dream,” Paul penned a number of Little Feat songs some of which would become title tracks for the band’s classic 1970s albums including “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” “Time Loves A Hero” and “Down On The Farm. The latter is the title to the band’s 1979 LP which they finished after Lowell George’s death that same year before disbanding.
Little Feat reformed in the late 1980s with classic lineup members Barrere, founding keyboardist Bill Payne, founding drummer Richie Hayward, bassist Kenny Gradney and percussionist Sam Clayton along with multi-instrumentalist Fred Tackett and others. Little Feat saw a renaissance with their 1988 album Let It Roll and continued to tour in the subsequent decades although Hayward sadly died 2010.
Paul was having health issues of his own and did not tour with the band in 2013. But Barrere was on hand for the spring leg of the band’s 50th-anniversary tour in 2019, which would be his final tour with the band. On March 13, 2019 Little Feat performed at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, North Carolina where they would welcome hometown hero and guitarist Warren Haynes to help close out the set.
Little Feat — Barrere, Payne, Clayton, Grandey, Tackett and drummer Gabe Ford — kicked off the show with the aforementioned Barrere number “Time Loves A Hero.” The set also included Paul’s “Home Ground” and “Down On The Farm” along with staples like “Willin’” and “Tripe Face Boogie.”
Haynes would guest on three more classics to close out the set beginning with “Spanish Moon.” Warren added guitar and sang the first verse of the swampy Feats Don’t Fail Me Now cut which also featured the Ramble Band Horn section of saxophonists Jay Collins, Erik Lawrence and trumpeter Steve Bernstein. Next up, Barerre led the band through his Feats staple “Skin It Back.” Warren would stick around for a jam session on “Dixie Chicken” which stretched to over 19 minutes. Little Feat then went it alone for an encore of Paul’s “Feat’s Don’t Fail Me Now” to bring the evening to a close.
To remember Paul Barrere, listen to full-show audio of the 2019 Asheville show via mrsoul below including the Warren Haynes sit-in:
Set: Time Loves A Hero, Day or Night, One Breath At A Time, Home Ground, Tripe Face Boogie, Down On The Farm, Willin’> Don’t Bogart That Joint, Long Black Veil > The Weight, Truck Stop Girl, Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky, Lonesome Whistle Blow, Spanish Moon $, Skin It Back $, Dixie Chicken $
Encore: Feats Don’t Fail Me Now
$ featuring Warren Haynes