Sailin' Shoes is the second studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1972.

Sailin' Shoes
Little Feat - Sailin' Shoes.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1972
RecordedLate 1971
StudioAmigo Sounds, Sunset Sound
TTG Studios, Los Angeles
GenreSouthern rock, blues rock, roots rock, swamp rock
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerTed Templeman
Little Feat chronology
Little Feat
Sailin' Shoes
Dixie Chicken
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[4]

Little Feat's sophomore effort, the Ted Templeman produced Sailin' Shoes marked a shift from the sound of the band's first album, Little Feat, to that of their next album, Dixie Chicken. It also introduced the cover artwork of Neon Park to the group, and was the last album appearance of original bassist Roy Estrada.

Highlighted by a reworked group version of "Willin'", it also featured such enduring tracks as "A Apolitical Blues," "Easy to Slip" and the title track, all by guitarist and lead vocalist Lowell George, the second co-written with Martin Kibbee, credited as "Fred Martin", a former bandmate from The Factory, and the first appearance of the "George/Martin" credit on a Little Feat record.

The track "Texas Rose Cafe" is a tribute to a post-Houston concert visit by Lowell George and others to the hippie restaurant/club/beer garden. During refreshments upstairs George had said that he liked the place so much that he was going to write a song about it and it would be on their next album. It turned out to be true and not just so much "beer talk".

It was the last full Little Feat record to be produced by an outsider until 1977's Time Loves a Hero, with each of the three interim albums being produced almost entirely by Lowell George.

Noted Los Angeles-based session percussionist Milt Holland played percussion on "Easy to Slip" and "Trouble" and he also played tabla on the follow-up album Dixie Chicken. Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels played rhythm guitar on "A Apolitical Blues" and Debbie Lindsey provided the female vocals on "Cold, Cold, Cold" and the title track.

In 1972 Van Dyke Parks covered "Sailin' Shoes" on his album Discover America, while in 1973, the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth covered "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" on their album Loud 'n' Proud.

In 1974 backed by The Meters and Lowell George, Robert Palmer covered "Sailin' Shoes" on his debut solo album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley.

In 1988 Van Halen recorded a cover of "A Apolitical Blues" on their album, OU812, although the song is not included on some cassette and some original vinyl copies of the album.

It was voted number 469 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[5]

In 2008 the album was released as Gold CD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.


With his design for a "sailing shoe" of a cake swinging on a tree swing, the album's front cover by Neon Park seems to be an allusion to The Swing by painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard.[6] Park himself said of the cover: "The Sailin' Shoes cover was inspired by Louis XIV. I'd just seen Rossellini's film about Louis XIV. And it seemed to relate a lot to Hollywood. A situation ruled by someone who kept everybody under his thumb by keeping them in hock from buying fancy clothes seemed to relate to Hollywood somehow. Actually, the only thing that was missing was the Hollywood sign, which I was going to put in the background. I thought that would be gauche. But I had a chance to pick up on that later with The Last Record Album.[7][6]

The cover design also includes a giant snail and Mick Jagger dressed as Gainsborough's The Blue Boy[6] - Park had been inspired by the film Performance.[7]

Track listingEdit

  • All tracks by Lowell George, except where noted.

Side One

  1. "Easy to Slip" (Lowell George, Fred Martin) – 3:22 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  2. "Cold, Cold, Cold" – 4:01 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  3. "Trouble" – 2:19 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  4. "Tripe Face Boogie" (Richie Hayward, Bill Payne) – 3:16 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  5. "Willin'" – 2:57 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  6. "A Apolitical Blues" – 3:28 (lead singer: Lowell George)

Side Two

  1. "Sailin' Shoes" – 2:53 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  2. "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" – 2:13 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  3. "Got No Shadow" (Payne) – 5:08 (lead singer: Lowell George)
  4. "Cat Fever" (Payne) – 4:37 (lead singer: Bill Payne)
  5. "Texas Rose Café" – 3:42 (lead singer: Lowell George)



  • Milt Holland - percussion on "Easy to Slip" and "Trouble"
  • Sneaky Pete Kleinow - pedal steel guitar on "Willin'" and "Texas Rose Café"
  • Debbie Lindsey - backing vocals on "Cold Cold Cold" and "Sailin' Shoes"
  • Ron Elliott - rhythm guitar on "A Apolitical Blues"


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Sailin' Shoes at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: L". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 1, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  5. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 168. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b "Neon Park". Archived from the original on 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2014-02-20.