Tompall Glaser

Tompall

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On his first album apart from the long-standing Glaser Brothers, Tompall Glaser's self-titled release is actually a collection of Shel Silverstein tunes. A curious choice perhaps, but then Glaser often did things that made no sense to anyone else. Recorded at his home studio, Glaser and Silverstein sparsely produced the record and hired a bad-assed group of session men, including Norman Blake, Kenny Malone, Pete Drake, Buddy Spicher, Larrie Londin, Fred Newell, Willie Rainsford, Chuck Cochran, and Kyle Lehning. Glaser's first outlaw hit, "Put Another Log on the Fire" (one of the most sexist songs ever written -- and Silverstein wrote a lot of them -- and what's puzzling is the largely female backing chorus), is here, as are other Silverstein classics such as "Mendocino," "Echoes," "Oleander," "I Ain't Lookin' for Answers Anymore," and "Grab a'Hold." Of course, as in anything involving a solid body of Silverstein tunes, there are some irritating novelty numbers here as well, such as "Country Gospel Good Book Rock and Roll," "Old New Orleans Custom," "Musical Chairs," and more. Somehow, with Glaser in such fine voice and the killer dobro playing of Blake slipping around in the mix, they aren't as grating as they would normally be. In all, it's a pretty cool set that showcases how original Glaser's ideas were for the music he was going to make in the years to come. But it would have made a better EP than an album.