Bill Payne
Photo Credit: Polly Payne

He may not be a household name in his own right, but for Little Feat fans — as well as barrelhouse piano aficionados of all persuasions — Bill Payne has been a name to be reckoned with for more than four decades. And given that your Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour hosts count themselves among both camps, once we heard that Mr. Payne was going to be hitting the road on a solo tour, we knew we needed to ask him to join us for a discussion.

With Little Feat on hiatus, the time is right for Payne to step into the spotlight, greeting fans with a solo jaunt that he’s dubbed “Tracing Footsteps: A Journal of Music, Photography and Tales from the Road.” More of a multimedia experience than your average outing, it combines performances from Payne’s deep song catalog with his other love — photography — and offers fans the chance to hear stories and insights from his career via Q&A sessions. (You can find a complete list of “Tracing Footsteps” dates here. Obviously, we recommend high-tailing it to the nearest gig.)

We always strive for genuine conversations with these interviews, and Bill Payne made it easy — warm, expansive, and insightful, he offered up some great stories (including one priceless anecdote about the time he co-produced Toto’s The Seventh One album) while repeatedly demonstrating just how successfully he’s held onto the wide-eyed passion of the true artist. Whether you’re a longtime Feat fan or someone who’s never even heard one of Bill’s songs, we think this episode of the Radio Hour has something for everyone — a bit of a rad gumbo, if you will.

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 18: Bill Payne