Tom T Hall keychain
Barger's Boutique country music swag
SONG TITLE: SHOESHINE MAN
PERFORMER: TOM T HALL
SONGWRITER: TOM T HALL
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1969
COMMENTS: From the opening drawl of harmonica and insanely catchy and cool drumbeat pounding out the Morse code introduction, this thing rocks like a freaking bitch. Check out the lean strokes of guitar filling out the arrangement. By the time the boy's memory of his "rag poppin' daddy" brings on the piano pounding ecstasy, I'm about ready to declare this mild mannered country singer "king of rock and roll."
One thing that largely goes critically unnoticed is that Hall had some of the best musicians in the business. Session information is spotty, particularly for the outstanding Homecoming album from which this came. Wherever he got them though, these sumbitches will go head to head with any band this side of the Stones themselves.
Also as to his rock bona fides, check out the verse about the underage girl he had working for him.
The thing that really puts this whole thing finally into the record book is the lyrical detail. He really gives a shoeshine man's life and times. You can see this man's attitude and emotional outlook, and get his life story and family history - easily fit into the confines of a 3 minute single. And notice how the biggest musical emphasis is on one proper word placed at the bottom note of the chorus "Leave me a tiiiiiip if you can" Tom T Hall is easily ten times the lyric writer Bob Dylan ever was.
"I learned my trade from that rag poppin'daddy of mine. He shined a pair of alligators made a hundred dollar bill one time. But when that meat get scarce he'd shine two or three pairs for a dime."
Tom T Hall 1971 Pictures
Tom T Hall Page
Music Sustains the Soul
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