Worth driving out of town
What: Little Feat
Where: Colonial Theatre, 95 Main Street, Keene
When: Friday, Jan. 15, 8 p.m.
Distance: 40 Miles
Frank Zappa fired Lowell George from the Mothers of Invention in 1969 and told him to form a band. Well, perhaps “fired” is too strong a word, but the end result was Little Feat, formed with former Mothers Roy Estrada and Richie Hayward, and George’s pal Bill Payne.
Their first album contained “Willin’,” a song Zappa could have probably used if he’d given it a chance. The band made some great records and earned a reputation as one of the most energetic live bands around until George’s untimely death in 1979.
Bill Payne reformed Little Feat nine years later and they haven’t let up since, adding a few more standards like “Let it Roll” to a repertoire that includes “Dixie Chicken,” “Sailin’ Shoes” and many others. One of the most rhythmic live bands around, seats become superfluous by about the fourth of fifth song, as everybody gets up to dance – even in a staid place like the Colonial.
Donna the Buffalo will open the show with a set of their quirky Americana, which gained recognition with 2008’s “Silverlined.”
Mark your calendar
What: Connecticut River Valley Orchestra: Stories in Music
Where: Claremont Opera House, Opera House Square, Claremont
When: Sunday, February 7 at 1 p.m.
Tickets: $35/$25/$20(Seniors)/$10 (Students)
More: 542-4433 or go to www.claremontoperahouse.com
Rescheduled to accommodate the Super Bowl later in the evening, the latest installment of the wonderful community orchestra’s 2009-2010 series is geared to the younger set – both in age and heart. Max Culpepper again conducts, with guest tuba player Harry Critchley assuming the musical role of Tubby the Tuba for one of the pieces.
The orchestra also performs “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” well-known from Disney’s Fantasia, and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” the latter popular a half-century ago with fans of the Lone Ranger radio program.
Stephen Langley, well known for his work with the Dartmouth Wind Symphony, narrates each piece’s accompanying story – Tubby searching for his own song, William Tell meeting the challenge of shooting an arrow through an apple on his son’s head in order to save them from a wicked emperor, and the sorcerer’s apprentice’s battle with a magic broom.
The final performance of the both educational and entertaining program is the timeless “Peter and the Wolf,” the story of a clever child enlisting the help of an animal friend to overcome a wolf in the forest.
Local Music Spotlight
Who: Higher Ground Band
What: Top-notch country band
Sounds Like: Sugarland, Trisha Yearwood, Eagles
Led by former Rattlesnake Ridge singer/guitarist Mike Olivier and NH Country Music Association award winner Corina Ouellette on vocals and keyboards, High Ground emphasizes the harmony in country music. They’re popular for playing covers in places like Shenanigans and Imperial Lounge, but the five piece band, which also includes Ed Leavitt on guitar and vocals, drummer Rick Leavitt and Ken Mello (Dog Days, NH Rock Bottom Band) on bass, also has an impressive catalog of original songs.
High Ground is working on an album for release later this year, and samples of the songs in progress can be heard on their web site. The band is also very civic minded, working tirelessly for Dartmouth charity David’s House – they even wrote a song about it, along with the tear-jerker “Praying for an Angel,” penned by Ed Leavitt.
For a taste of High Ground’s energetic side, check out the video of “Another Notch” from a television appearance in Burlington last year.
Friday, Jan. 22 – Imperial Lounge in Claremont
Friday, Feb. 5 – Shenanigans in White River Junction “KIXX and Chicks Night”
Saturday, Feb. 13 – Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee, Vermont