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Dave Cousins

Prog Folk

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Dave Cousins The Boy In The Sailor Suit album cover
2.63 | 5 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Never Take Sweets From A Stranger (4:41)
2. Mellow Moon (6:19)
3. The Smile You Left Behind (3:08)
4. Calling Out My Name (5:11)
5. Mother Luck (4:16)
6. Wish You Were Here (3:19)
7. Skip To My Lou (4:50)
8. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights (4:55)
9. Bringing In The Harvest (4:36)
10. Hellfire Blues (5:42)

Total time 46:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Cousins / vocals, acoustic guitar

- Miller Anderson / guitar
- Ian Cutler / fiddle
- Tony Attwood / organ (9)
- Chris Ball / piano (10)
- Chas Cronk / bass
- Chris Hunt / drums
- Elizabeth Tophill / backing vocals
- Frances Tophill / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Marina Kalinovsky's painting "The Boy In The Sailor Suit"

CD Witchwood Media ‎- WMCD 2040 (2007, UK)

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DAVE COUSINS The Boy In The Sailor Suit ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (40%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DAVE COUSINS The Boy In The Sailor Suit reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars The success of Witchwood Media in issuing Strawbs-related product, as well as some outside artists, has allowed Dave Cousins and Company greater artistic freedom than ever. Oddly enough, those of us with a decades old relationship with the band's music might sometimes pine for classic Strawbs product as dictated by those big evil record companies - a little less self indulgence please!

What "Boy in the Sailor Suit" really drives home is Dave Cousins' eclectic tastes that include a lot more old fashioned country-ish swing and flat out hard rock than I would have expected or wanted. "Mellow Moon" and "Wish you were Here" harken back to everyone's favourite track ...NOT... from Deep Cuts, "Wasting my Time Thinking of You", while there seem few previous parallels to "Mother Luck" (other than Dylan's "Slow Train Coming") or "Hellfire Blues", which banish any pretense of melodic storytelling skill that prevailed even on the 1972 solo album's heaviest song, "The Actor". Even the presence of violins cannot save a consummately trashy blues number.

Yet all is not lost, far from it. For instance, "Never Take Sweets from a Stranger" exploits Ian Cutler's fiddle and Miller Anderson's guitars as foil for one of Cousins' more compelling narratives, replete with his beyond suggestive sexual references. The beginning has more than a passing similarity to a Dave Lambert penned classic from 1977, "Heartbreaker". The title cut is sheer poetry in such a fashion as to wipe out any memory of the medium - only the message remains. "Calling out my name", "Lonely Days Lonely Nights" and "Bringing in the Harvest" are the most Strawbs like in their combination of pop, folk and prog, and utilize a rich palate of moods. "Skip to My Lou" seems to tip the hat in the direction of equally venerable cousins Fairport Convention, with a riff that is strongly redolent of "Matty Groves".

Worth noting is that, with proper production and material, Cousins' voice holds up well after all these years. He needs to avoid hitting those ultra-low notes frequented by "Mellow Moon" and give up on producing a convincing hard rock song. More organic in feel than the Cousins and Conrad release and far more retro and diverse than the Strawbs last studio release, "Deja Fou", this boy sails well enough to suit old and new fans alike, even if it probably won't blow them offshore.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars 35 years on

Not counting the several collaboration albums with other people outside of his day job with Strawbs, The Boy In The Sailor Suit was only Dave Cousins' second solo album appearing some 35 years after his Two Weeks Last Summer! It is a somewhat eclectic set of songs, covering electric Folk Rock, Blues Rock, and Hard Rock, while carefully avoiding Prog. Most of the songs here are decent enough, though a couple of them are quite terrible, but nothing really stands out. It is the rockers that stink and the ballads that are pleasant.

Cousins' voice is pleasant and the sound of this album is certainly more full and organic than on the Cousins & Conrad album High Seas or the Cousins & Wakeman album Hummingbird. With the stronger sound and production of the present album and the best songs from all three of these albums, we could perhaps be talking about a good album here. But as it stands, The Boy In The Sailor Suit joins the other two as a largely forgettable, even if mostly pleasant, experience. None of these match the more recent albums by Strawbs (The Brokenhearted Bride is especially great).

Recommended only to serious fans and collectors of Cousins long career in and out of Strawbs

Latest members reviews

3 stars Officially credited to Dave Cousins and the Blue Angel Orchestra, the Boy in the Sailor Suit is as faraway as you can get from Cousins' 1972 solo album that featured the epic song "Blue Angel", titled Two Weeks Last Summer. Guitarist Miller Anderson is a hold over from that album but is joined by ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698860) | Posted by SteveG | Sunday, March 5, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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