Title - 'The Boy in the Sailor Suit: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Dave Cousins
For those not in the know, Esoteric Recordings have just released a new remastered and expanded edition of the 2007 solo album by Strawbs founder, Dave Cousins.
The Boy in the Sailor Suit was Cousins’ second solo album, appearing thirty-five years after his first solo outing Two Weeks Last Summer.
Indeed, the album was a fine collection of personal songs and was produced by Chris Tsangarides.
For the recording sessions Cousins assembled a fine cast of musicians; Miller Anderson (guitar), Chas Cronk (bass), Ian Cutler (fiddle) and Chris Hunt (drums) with guests Chris Ball (piano), Tony Attwood (organ) and Elizabeth & Francis Tophill (vocal harmonies).
The ensemble was to be known as The Blue Angel Orchestra, a reference to the epic track on Cousins’ first solo album.
Following a few days rehearsal in Teddington, the album was recorded and mixed in just a week at Chris Tsangarides’ studio in Kent, with most tracks recorded live, giving the album a fine spontaneity.
Furthermore, the finished album was widely praised upon its release by both Strawbs fans and critics alike and now, here once again, this time remastered and expanded, well, it lives on again in all its musical splendor.
1. 'Never Take Sweets from a Stranger'
2. 'Mellow Moon'
3. 'The Smile You Left Behind'
4. 'Calling Out My Name'
5. 'Mother Luck'
6. 'Wish You Were Here'
7. 'Skip to My Lou'
8. 'Lonely Days, Lonely Nights'
9. 'Bringing in the Harvest'
10. 'Hellfire Blues'
11. 'Never Take Sweets from a Stranger' (Live)
12. 'Skip to My Lou' (Live 2009)
13. 'Hellfire Blues' (Live 2009)
Opening with the wonderful pop bounce of 'Never Take Sweets from a Stranger,' he backs that up with the laid back, hazy lazy swirling psych ambiance of 'Mellow Moon,' the earnest storytelling of 'The Smile You Left Behind,' and both the mid-tempo guitar rock of 'Calling Out My Name' and then the rockier 'Mother Luck.'
The Celtic-boned 'Wish You Were Here' is followed by Cousins' rendition (if only on the chorus) of 'Skip to My Lou' (which here he turns into a lo-fi Creole folk song), and then comes the magnificent, low-key tales of love from yonder days, 'Lonely Days, Lonely Nights.'
More Celtic-inspired vibes are brought to the fore on the forlorn, tinged with sadness mood of 'Bringing in the Harvest' with the original album closing on the blues-rocker, 'Hellfire Blues.'
Unavailable for some years, The Boy in the Sailor Suit has been newly re-mastered and expanded to include three bonus tracks, featuring live performances of songs from the album, recorded in the USA in 2008 and in the UK in 2009.
The first is 'Never Take Sweets from a Stranger' (recorded at Shank Hall, Milwaukee on March 18th, 2008), with both 'Skip to My Lou' and 'Hellfire Blues' both recorded at the Strawbs' 40th Anniversary Celebration, Twickenham, on the 12th/13th of September, 2009.
This release features the original artwork and booklet liner notes by Dave Cousins.
Official CD Purchase Link