This could be my personal book of the year. Books this good are rare. Books like this are rare too. Of all the musicians and singers I have followed as a fan over the years, only Christy Moore's One Voice: My Life in Song
compares. "Secrets, Stories and Songs" is a big book - almost 400 pages for your money.
What you get is effectively several hundred songs (I haven't counted!), set out as poetry (which they are, of course). They represent something pretty close to the complete canon of Dave Cousin's self-penned works. On top of this, the book is full of previously unseen photos, and dozens of side bars telling something of the stories behind the songs. I can't claim to have worked my way through it all yet, but I am licking my lips at the prospect.
But that's certainly not all. In the back is a 17 track CD on to which Dave Cousins has recorded many of the best as spoken word pieces. This is gilding the already bright golden lily, in my opinion, as I'm sure this CD would stand on its own two feet as a collector's item sold at concerts etc. However, to have it with the book is, as my title says, just fabulous.
I bought this at the same time as the wholly useless Songs Written by Dave Cousins: Grace Darling, Lay Down, I Only Want My Love to Grow in You, Autumn, Benedictus, Lemon Pie, Charmer I hope they publish my review panning that one. That experience made "Secrets, Stories and Songs" even more of a delight. Having completely wasted my money on the former, the latter comes as worth far more than the cover price to us life-long Dave Cousins fans.
This book seems to have gone out of stock very soon after publication. Get yours when you can. You won't regret it, I promise.