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Clayton outside the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC
|Born||30 March 1952|
|Genres||Alternative country, Alternative rock, blues, folk|
|Associated acts||Little Feat, Little Richard, Bonnie Raitt|
Sam Clayton (March 30, 1952) is an American singer and percussionist, primarily focusing on drums, conga and djembe, throughout his musical career. He is best known as a supporting vocalist and percussionist with the American rock band Little Feat since 1972.
As a young man, he was influenced by R&B music, and gospel music. He is the brother of singer Merry Clayton and the brother-in-law of jazz flautist and saxophonist Curtis Amy.
After seeing Lester Horton and the modern dancers, "Zapata", he was enthralled by the conga player. However, it wasn't until a chance opportunity to sit in with a house band for a song on the congas at a farewell dinner, just as he was laid off from his employment in electro-mechanical engineering drafting, that Clayton was offered the chance to join a band and play.Clayton played for a short time with Little Richard, and says he was inspired by "what Mongo Santamaría was doing with Cal Tjader".
Clayton was introduced to Little Feat, an eclectic band drenched in Southern rhythms, funk, jazz, and rock and roll, by his friend Kenny Gradney with whom he had played behind Delaney & Bonnie, and who was to replace original bassist Roy Estrada. Gradney recommended Clayton to the band as he knew both men needed work following Delaney & Bonnie's split up following their divorce and guitarist Paul Barrere also joined the line-up, thus expanding the band to a sextet.
Sam made his debut with Little Feat on their third album Dixie Chicken in 1973. He also played congas on Bonnie Raitt's 1977 song, "Sweet Forgiveness", on her album of the same name. As time went on, his vocal talents as well as his percussion came to the fore, which gave the band a funkier sound.Although he rarely sang lead vocals, his scat-influenced bass vocals were strongly in evidence on tracks like "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" from Feats Don't Fail Me Now . His first lead vocal with the group was "Feel The Groove" from Down on the Farm in 1979 but the band broke up shortly afterwards and the subsequent death of founder Lowell George meant they did not reform until 1987.
When Little Feat re-grouped Sam's voice became even more evident on songs like "The Ingenue" (from Representing the Mambo ) and "Romance Without Finance" and "That's A Pretty Good Love" (from Ain't Had Enough Fun ). He also sings the Lowell George classic "Spanish Moon" at Little Feat's live shows.
Like other members of Little Feat, Clayton is also a respected session musician and has played with Duane Allman, Jimmy Barnes, Jimmy Buffett, Valerie Carter, Freddie King, Robert Palmer, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger and Travis Tritt among others.
Sam was a member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band for the tours from 1982-1988.
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Lowell Thomas George was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer, who was the primary guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the rock band Little Feat.
Little Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. George disbanded the group due to creative differences in 1979, shortly before his death. Surviving members re-formed Little Feat in 1987 and the band has remained active to the present.
Feats Don't Fail Me Now is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1974. The cover was designed by Neon Park.
The Last Record Album is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1975.
Time Loves a Hero is the sixth studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1977.
Waiting for Columbus is the first live album by the band Little Feat, recorded during seven performances in 1977. The first four shows were held at the Rainbow Theatre in London on August 1–4, 1977. The final three shows were recorded the following week at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on August 8–10. Local Washington radio personality Don "Cerphe" Colwell can be heard leading the audience in a "F-E-A-T" spellout in between the first and second tracks.
Down on the Farm is the seventh studio album by the American rock band Little Feat. The album was completed and released shortly after the death of the band's founder and frontman, Lowell George, in 1979. It was their last original work for nine years. The band had announced their break-up in June 1979 during the making of the album. Little Feat would reform in 1987.
Let It Roll is the eighth studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1988. Eight of the ten songs on the album were co-written by new band member Craig Fuller, the founding member of Pure Prairie League. Fuller also takes most lead vocals. The album attained RIAA certified gold status on February 14, 1989. It is the first Little Feat studio album without Lowell George, after his death in 1979 and is one of their most successful albums, sparking a comeback by the band. The first single, "Hate to Lose Your Lovin'", earned the band their first #1 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Live from Neon Park is the second live album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1996. The name of the album was a suggestion of a Little Feat fan in commemoration of the then-recent passing of long-time Little Feat album cover artist and friend of the band, Neon Park.
Takin' My Time is the third album by Bonnie Raitt, released in 1973. It was praised by critic Robert Christgau for "conveying songs from Calypso Rose and Martha Reeves Vandella into the women's music of the '70s."
Dixie Chicken is the third studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1973. The artwork for the front cover was by illustrator Neon Park and is a reference to a line from the album's third track, the song "Roll Um Easy".
Bill Payne is an American pianist who, with Lowell George, co-founded the American rock band Little Feat. He is considered by many other rock pianists, including Elton John, to be one of the finest American piano rock and blues musicians. In addition to his trademark barrelhouse blues piano, he is noted for his work on the Hammond B3 organ. Payne is an accomplished songwriter whose credits include "Oh, Atlanta". Following the death of Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward on August 12, 2010, Payne is the only member of the group from the original four-piece line-up currently playing in the band.
Kenny Gradney, a native of Baton Rouge, is an American bassist and songwriter, best known as a member of the band Little Feat. He joined after their second album, replacing founding bassist Roy Estrada in 1972. Gradney has remained their bassist ever since and coinciding with his arrival, his friend Sam Clayton also joined the band on percussion and Paul Barrere, who knew bandleader Lowell George from Hollywood High School, joined as a second guitarist and cementing the classic line-up of George, Barrere, Richie Hayward, Bill Payne, Gradney and Clayton.
Fred Tackett an American native of Arkansas, is an accomplished songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Originally a session player on guitar, mandolin, and trumpet, he is best known as a member of the band Little Feat.
To Bonnie from Delaney is the fourth album by Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. It was their first studio album for the Atco/Atlantic label, and their fourth album overall. Coincidentally, Atco/Atlantic's parent company purchased the Bramletts' previous label Elektra Records around this time.
Pressure Drop is the second solo album by Robert Palmer, released in 1975. Palmer is backed by Little Feat and other musicians. The title track is a cover version of the reggae hit by Toots & the Maytals. However, many other songs on the album use "New Orleans funk ... along with smooth, dated disco ballads smothered in strings". Continuing his association with Little Feat started by his cover of "Sailing Shoes" on his 1974 debut album Sneaking Sally Through the Alley, Feat was used as backing band on several cuts, most notably Lowell George's slide guitar on "Here With You Tonight". George also contributed the tune "Trouble" on which Feat pianist Bill Payne plays the intro. David Jeffries' review says that the album is considered "too blue-eyed and polished for fans of Palmer's more gutsy moments" but concludes that "Pressure Drop has grown into the great overlooked album in Palmer's discography".
One Particular Harbour is the twelfth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was released in September 1983 as MCA 5447 and was produced by Buffett and Michael Utley. It was Buffett's first involvement producing an album. Stars On The Water was written by and a minor hit for country music songsmith Rodney Crowell and also covered by Texan country music singer George Strait on his 2001 album, The Road Less Traveled.
Floridays is the fifteenth album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was released in June 1986 as MCA 5730 and was produced by Coral Reefer Band member Michael Utley. The title of the album is taken from the 1941 poetry collection of the same name by Don Blanding. The album marks the end of Buffett's shift toward a more country sound that characterized his previous two releases and a return to a sound closer to that of his late 1970s and early 1980s output. The album features a wider variety of musical instruments than was typical for Buffett's previous works, notably several songs with strings and horns. His daughter Savannah Jane Buffett is credited for playing mini-conga on the album. It was also his last studio album to feature Jimmy Buffett's trademark mustache, before he shaved it off for the next album Hot Water in 1988.
Join the Band is a 2008 album recorded by Little Feat. Their first studio album in five years, it features no new original songs but is a set of collaborations with other artists such as Bob Seger. Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews and Inara George. It was released on July 1, 2008.
Rooster Rag is the fifteenth album of original material by American rock band Little Feat released in June 2012. It is also their only studio album to date to feature drummer Gabe Ford and the last to feature guitarist Paul Barrere who died in 2019.