Little Feat, the band that diehard music fans know, has lost one of its brightest lights. Guitarist Paul Barrere has died at age 71 from complications of liver disease. His bandmates released a statement that is available on the group’s website. According to the Washington Post, Barrere had been treated for Hepatitis C and had been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2015.
Even without so-called huge hits, Little Feat still managed to make a name for itself. The band has more than five decades’ worth of history, and were still touring around the time of Barrere’s death. Little Feat gained a wider audience in 1973 (approximately when Barrere joined the band) with the album “Dixie Chicken.” Several years later, “Waiting for Columbus” (1978) would be their first and only album to make the top 20. But industry metrics did not seem to bother diehard fans. There was no there other band sounding like Little Feat, with their mix of New Orleans jazz and rock.
Barrere had come to the band and auditioned as a bassist, the group’s website reports. It took three years for him to fill the slot as guitarist. A move that seems fortuitous in retrospect.
In 1988, the band had a comeback of sorts with the album “Let It Roll,” ten years after “Waiting for Columbus.” There was even a video to accompany the song that was played heavily on Music Television.
Barrere’s bandmates have created a touching message about his passing on the group’s website. The fans and other musicians will no doubt feel the loss as well.
Barrere is survived by a wife and three children.