Little Feat – Sailin’ Shoes Deluxe Triple Vinyl Set – Rhino Entertainment

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Jazz CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Rhino Entertainment Group releases a re-mastered triple vinyl of Little Feat’s SailinShoes!

Little Feat – Sailin’ Shoes Deluxe Triple Vinyl Set – Warner Records (1972)/Rhino Entertainment Group (2023), includes a full-sized 10-page booklet; ****1/2:

(Lowell George – lead guitar, vocals; harmonica, baritone saxophone, drum machine; Bill Payne – Hammond organ, vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano, piano, accordion; Roy Estrada – bass, vocals; Richie Hayward – drums, percussion, vocals; Milt Holland – percussion, Sneaky Pete Kleinow – pedal steel guitar; Debbie Lindsey – backing vocals; Ron Elliot – rhythm guitar)

As the early 70’s folk rock scene was evolving in Southern California, bands adopted a radio-friendly, accessible vibe. But Lowell George and Little Feat had a different approach. Intermingling country and rock, they created a grittier, funky sound that included gospel, blues and jazz accents. The self-titled debut album garnered positive critical reviews but disappointing sales. However, fans of the group’s live performances were very enthusiastic. The follow-up album, Sailin’ Shoes was a moderate breakthrough. 

This re-mastered triple vinyl of Sailin’ Shoes (also available on 2-CDs) is a visceral reminder of Little Feat’s impact on rock music. Produced by Ted Templeton, this was the last recording by the original quartet (George, Bill Payne, Roy Estrada and Richie Hayward), and the first to utilize Neon Park’s stunning art work. The first platter kicks off with the rousing “Easy To Slip”. With Payne’s organ and George’s crisp guitar, the band rocks out. The remainder of Side One feels like a greatest hits collection with the blues-drenched trilogy, “Cold, Cold, Cold”, “Tripe Face Boogie” and “Apolitical Blues”. These songs offer a strong glimpse into the band dynamics of Little Feat. But two folk-infused tunes steal the show. “Trouble” is a wry, forlorn reflection with great slide guitar and accordion. A “new” version of “Willin’” exudes acoustic country elegance (“…I been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah…”)  and continues in the tradition of “Truck Stop Girl”. George’s vocals on both of these is authentic and moving. Side Two opens with the title track that showcases George’s sinewy voice and slide licks. Then the band explodes into 50’s-like rock and roll fervor on “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”. Things go funky on “Got No Shadow” with Payne’s piano hooks. He adds Southern feel to “Cat Fever”. George is very soulful on the finale, “Texas Rose Cafe”.

The second disc offers some very interesting outtakes and demos. “Sailin’ Shoes’” is rendered as New Orleans testimony. Other highlights are two versions of “Easy To Slip” (a demo and mono single version), a slow-burning, jagged take on “Cold Cold Cold”, and a country-inspired “Dorville”. The alternate version of “Willin’” has George handling the vocals without backup.

The final two sides (Thank You! I’ll Eat It Here) are taken from a live performance at the L.A. Palladium in 1971. This is vintage high octane Feat as they power through “Tripe Face Boogie” and “Teenage Nervous Breakdown”. The band covers tunes from the first album (“Hamburger Midnight”, “Strawberry Flats”, and “Snakes On Everything”) with raw energy and rootsy gravitas. Of course, the live translation of “Willin’” is heartfelt and Bill Payne contributes a brilliant run on piano. 

Little FeatSailin’ Shoes Deluxe Edition is a vibrant recording of an influential rock band. The re-mastered studio album, outtakes and concert have a balanced sound mix. The vinyls come in a triple gatefold with the eye-popping surreal fold-out cover. 

—Robbie Gerson

Little Feat – Sailin’ Shoes, Deluxe Triple Vinyl Set

Disc One (Sailin’ Shoes 2023 Remaster)
Side One: Easy To Slip; Cold, Cold, Cold; Trouble; Tripe Face Boogie; Willin’; Apolitical Blues
Side Two: Sailin’ Shoes; Teenage Nervous Breakdown; Got No Shadow; Cat Fever; Texas Rose Cafe

Disc Two (Hotcakes, Outtakes & Rarities)
Side One: Sailin’ Shoes (demo); Easy To Fall (Easy To Slip( demo for the Doobie Brothers);  Texas Rose Cafe (demo for the Doobie Brothers); Cold, Cold, Cold (alternate version); Roto/Tone
Side Two: Apolitical Blues (alternate version); Boogie/Tripe Face Boogie; Trouble (alternate version); Dorville; Willin’ (alternate version); Easy To Slip (mono single version)

Disc Three (Thank You! I’ll Eat It Here): Live At The Palladium
Side One: Tripe Face Boogie; Hamburger Midnight; Cat Fever; Willin’; Strawberry Flats
Side Two: Got No Shadow; Texas Rose Cafe; Snakes On Everything; Hot Rod (Eldorado Slim); Teenage Nervous Breakdown

More Information through Rhino Entertainment

Logo Rhino_Entertainment

Album Cover for Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes 3 LP

Album Cover for Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01