Legends return to Port Chester: Little Feat ready to take the Capitol Theater stage

Celebrated pianist Bill Payne returns to The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester with long-time band, the critically acclaimed Little Feat, in November.

Celebrated pianist Bill Payne returns to The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester with long-time band, the critically acclaimed Little Feat, in November.

Polly Payne

Ask legendary pianist Bill Payne what the most influential moment in his 50-plus year musical career is, and while hard, he narrows it down to one.

“I go back to an example where it was the 1970’s and Little Feat was in the south side of Amsterdam with the Rolling Stones. I was in the dressing room with Keith Richards,” Payne said.

“He put his arm around me, and said, ‘Man, we’re all parts of the same cloth,’” he said. He said he’s told this story to other musicians since. 

Since then, Payne has traveled all over the world and played with some of the greatest rock n’ roll legends of all time. He’s been praised by many including both Jimmy Page and Elton John as one of the greatest himself.

But the gig he is most looking forward to is getting back on stage with Little Feat, the band “I grew up with,” he said.

And grow up, he did. Little Feat has been playing since 1969. Described as “the beauty and luxuries of old classic seventies country-rock tunes,” the critically acclaimed band has an extended series of albums including 16 studio albums, eight compilation albums, nine singles, four video albums, and seventeen live albums. “Willin,” “Oh Atlanta,” and “Dixie Chicken,” are the top hits of Little Feat which always boom onto the roads during his concerts.

The incarnation of the Little Feat reflects the sounds of New Orleans-style funk. In addition to Payne, the band encompasses Sam Clayton, Kenny Gradney, Fred Tackett, Scott Sharrard and Tony Leone.

The band’s music has been played and recorded by dozens of famed artists, including The Black Crowes, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Rondstadt, Van Halen, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Buffett, to name a few. 

Speaking recently from his home in Montana after returning from the south of France touring with the Doobie Brothers, Payne said he is happy to play The Capitol Theatre.

“It’s a great theater. The acoustics are nice, and Little Feat has a history there. There are friendly waters in Port Chester,” he said. 

The Nov. 11 show at “the Cap,” as it is known to fans, is part of a Little Feat tour throughout the east coast through January. Other locations include Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and then south to the Carolinas and Florida. 

Payne said the band hopes to play requests and likes to surprise the audience with cover songs as well. 

Why is music so important to people, especially now? Payne says, for himself, there’s a comfort to it. 

“Familiarity is a really good thing,” he said.

And people are in need of these good moments after the last year, Payne said.
“We all need things to hold on to. People are looking for positive things. Music is so uplifting. I just love good music. It draws us together as a family,” he said. 

For the concert at the Cap, he said he expects the band to take the audience on a journey. 

Especially at a place like The Capitol Theatre, where the acoustics are “really great”, and the setting is intimate. 

“You really have a conversation with the audience, and let down that veil,” he said. 

The legendary Capitol Theatre just celebrated its 95th birthday. It was reopened by famed concert promoter Peter Shapiro in 2012. The reopening featured Bob Dylan and was widely celebrated. Dylan will return to the Cap in November.  

For more about Little Feat and to learn about the full tour dates, visit https://www.littlefeat.net/.

To find out more about upcoming shows at The Capitol Theatre, visit https://www.thecapitoltheatre.com/.