If you are looking for in in depth overview on the musical life of the late Little Feat guitarist/singer/songwriter Lowell George, Feats First is an excellent place to go. Though the DVD is not sanctioned by the family of George, his estate, or representatives, the producers have lovingly put this together to show the importance of what he brought to the music scene throughout the '70s. From his early days as a member of The Factory, Frank Zappa and The Fraternity Of Man, the documentary then takes you to the early line-up of Little Feat, through the debut self-titled album from 1971, the following years Sailin' Shoes, through to the more successful Dixie Chicken, Feats Don't Fail Me Now and The Last Record Album. By 1977s Time Loves a Hero, it was clear that the band were beginning to slip a little, and George's interests and indulgences were taking him elsewhere. The influence of jazz-fusion on the rest of the band was opposite of Lowell's love for soul, country rock & blues, and it wasn't long before he would want to leave Little Feat and start up a solo career. The seminal live album Waiting for Columbus from 1978 is discussed, as well as the studio follow-up Down on the Farm from 1979 that George and the band were working on when he died of a heart attack that same year while on your with his solo act in support of his Thanks, I'll Eat It Here album.
With interview segments from producer/songwriter Russ Titelman, singer/songwriter/producer Dyke Parks, Martin Kibbee (Lowell's old bandmate in The Factory), British music critic Barney Hoskyns, Warren Klein (The Factory & Stooges guitarist) and recording engineer George Massenburg sprinkled throughout the film, you get some insight from those who who either knew George personally or are Little Feat historians, but no actual segments from any members of the band sadly. Plenty of vintage concert footage of the group in the '70s is interspersed throughout the documentary, and though much of it probably has been seen by fans before, it still is great to see just how ferocious a live act they were, and Lowell's uncanny slide guitar skills are always on display. Overall this is a very informative & enjoyable look at not only a great musician in Lowell George, but the band Little Feat as well.