Steamboat Springs Little Feat makes an appearance today at Howelsen Hill as part of the free concert series, continuing the band's blues, funk and jazzy jams tradition for more than 30 years.
The legendary rock band got together in 1969 when singer and guitar player George Lowell was urged to leave Frank Zappa's band, The Mothers of Invention.
Zappa himself allegedly urged Lowell to form his own band, recognizing the man's musical potential.
Lowell formed Little Feat not long afterward. Supposedly, the name "Little Feat" came from Jimmy Carl Black, of the Mothers, commenting that Lowell had unusually small, fat feet. Lowell change "feet" to "feat," similar to the "beetles" versus the Beatles. Thus, the name was born.
The band reformed in 1972, after two albums didn't sell well. Lowell broke the band up and then found new members, including Bill Payne and Paul Barrere, who tour with the band today.
Little Feat acquired a following through the '70s, until Lowell broke the band up again in 1979. He died of a heart attack not long afterward.
The band got back together in 1988 and ever since has toured on and off for its loyal fans.
Most recently, singer Shaun Murphy was added to the bill, evoking some of the best reviews the band has received in a while.
"It will probably will be the largest show of the year, as far as attendance goes," promoter John Waldman said.
He said Little Feat could draw more than 3,000 people to Howelsen tonight.
Bringing such a big-name act to play for free in Steamboat shows an evolution of funding that the free concert committee has to get the bands. Each year the pot has gotten bigger, allowing locals to see bigger-named bands in town for free.
The fifth and final free show was announced for Sept. 1 and that, too, is a big one.
The country-rock Marshall Tucker Band will play at 3:30 p.m. at Howelsen Hill on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
The next free show is Michelle Shocked on Aug. 23 at Headwall at the Steamboat Ski Area.
The Little Feat show starts at 5:30 p.m. Texas singer and songwriter Stephen Bruton will open the show.