Never Shed No Tears

by Tom Savage

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about

Tom Savage's Never Shed No Tears wins the prize as the surprise of the year thus far. First time through, I shrugged. Second time, I heard some things I liked. Third time, more. I'm on the tenth or eleventh listen now and it's at the top of my preferred listening stack. How it got there is a mystery. It's not the style, because I haven't quite figured out what it is yet. It doesn't seem like anything new, but with a voice somewhere between Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Young and a writing style which picks influences by the line instead of the song, Savage somehow put together one hell of an album without allowing himself to be pigeonholed. Folk? Yes. Rock? Yes. Folk rock? Yes. Good? Yes. Damn good? Yes, yes and yes.

Favored tracks at this moment (and they change with each hearing) are Beneath the Rocks with its Knopfler-esque vocals and guitar break (great twang and way too short), The State We're In which has slight touches of 70s Brit-rockers Home and a very slight nod toward Pink Floyd on The Wall with screaming folk harmonica on the break. Hang Your Head and Cry could very well be what Phil Ochs might be doing if he'd not passed on, its theme the simple shame that some politicians bring to an otherwise proud nation. Savage even stretches himself toward jazz with Wrong Side of Town, the guitar sounding as if it could have been taken from an early Steely Dan album.

Throughout the album, I hear ghosts of John Campbell, Knopfler, Springsteen, Steve Young and shades of newer artists who, while not well known, have their moments of musical greatness. They are the ghosts in my own head, though, for it becomes more obvious with each listen that Savage writes and performs what he has to, not what he hears. Such is of what the good ones are made.

A big huzzah to Geoff Chown for hearing what Savage had to offer, to the various musicians who added their little bits which made the whole as good as it is, and to Tom Savage himself who has found his voice, and I am not referring to that which emanates from his throat. What a voice it is. - Frank Gutch Jr., Folk and Acoustic music Exchange

credits

released April 14, 2006

Music and Lyrics by Tom Savage
Produced by Geoff Chown and Tom Savage

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Tom Savage Kingston, Ontario

Tom Savage is what one might refer to as a triple-threat. One part truth-telling troubadour, one part death-defying guitar slinger, and one part Country Blues howler. Each facet of his formidable on-stage persona carefully crafted over a 20+ year devotion to the composition and performance of song. Tom is a true believer. A disciple of melody and harmony and tempo and timbre. ... more

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Track Name: Never Shed No Tears
Toothless grin, Stinking of gin
Wonder if his Mama wonders where he has bee
Nicotine stains, sorrow falls like rain
A shower would do a world of good for him

The silence speaks , cold and darkness mock the weak
no one can know the secrets that lie within
A day lasts a month, a collection of hours
No time's enough to wash away the sin

CHORUS
I was once the captain of a mighty great vessel
I sailed the ocean for years
I was once a father, a devoted husband
But I tell you son I never shed no tears


Beyond repair, fallen out of mid-air
to a world raised on candy corn and colour tv
Sit and smoke while the kids laugh and joke
If they decide not to hurt you they'll soon let you be



Blood for wine, drink holds the line
Precious as the first words your little boy said
You lost your hope, let go of the rope
as visions of the past dance through your head

CHORUS
Track Name: Beneath The Rocks
Beauty lies beneath the rocks
Water rushing through your thoughts
The ocean can be a lonely place sometimes

Near the shoreline feeling strong
Ain't been the same since she's been gone
But you know it's getting better just a bit at a time


Sun's gone dow, wind is cold
I once was brave but now I'm getting old
And I don't know if I'll be here when you come to call

I need a lovin' I can sink into
Like a leaky old patched up canoe
And I don't think I'm gonna find it written on the men's room wall


What are we doing here ?
Nobody really can say for sure
What are we doing here?

I ain't looking for a luxury cruise
A good conversation, a bottle of booze
Someone who's satisfied living in the here and now

You're a woman, I'm a man
Together we go hand in hand
Give it a try and we'll work it out somehow

What are we doing here ?
Nobody really can say for sure
What are we doing here?
Track Name: The State We're In
You'll only count when you've been counted
You're only there when you've been gone
There's no hope for a resistance
So stumble gingerly along

To the room in which they'll keep you
Until they need someone to blame
For talking out of order
For the fanning of the flames

They'll keep you under wraps
They'll keep you out of sight
Keep your friends and family guessing about whether or not you're right

They'll make the connection whether it's false or it's true
Take away your protections, lay the blame on you


CHORUS
That's the state we're in, where the line is getting thing
That's the state we're in, Ain't no way they're gonna let you win

What they once called an uprising
is now a blurb on the evening news
A minute long soundbite subject to reviews
Our hands are tied behind our backs
We're kicking at the door
Don't know if anyone is listening
Or if they care anymore

CHORUS

We used to boast about our freedom
About our civil rights
Our patriotism and fighting the good fight
Somewhere along the line
We forgot what these were for
Don't know if anyone is listening
But there ain't no more kicking at the door

CHORUS
Track Name: On And On
I need a good woman who will be here by my side
No cheatin' or a lyin', Nothing to fear, nothing to hide
When I woke with you right there
All I had I wanted to hold

On and on and on

If once I was a rambler then I've settled my weary soul
If once I let you down love, I won't pretend I did not know
For when I wake up in the morn
It takes all I have to hold

On and on and on

If I've made my peace with you girlThen I guess I'll be moving on
I know the times gone by girl
It's a little too late, been too long
And like drifters often do, guess that I'll be traveling

On and on and on

To another town, another motel
Ma and Pa, five and dime
Hope you don't mind if I write you
Keeps me sane, passes the time
For when I wake and you're not there
It takes all that I have to hold

On and on and on
Track Name: No Turning Back
You took the boy out of the man
And the man threw it all away
You took a walk down by the ocean
Left impressions in the clay

There's no turning back
For what you've seen
No one will ever know
You gotta hold your cards close to your vest
This world can take its toll

On a park bench
in a courtyard
A thousand miles between
The place that you are going
And the places you've never been

There's no turning back
For what you've seen
People rarely do
You gotta take good care of yourself girl
'Cause nobody's gonna do it for you
Track Name: Hang Your Head And Cry
Markets crash and buildings fall
Hang your head and cry
Your bloodied hands gently mark us all
Hang your head and cry

the taste of victory has been delivered
And anxiously awaits your reply
How's it feel to sell the souls of your countrymen
Hang your head and cry

A thousand bodies buried in the ground
Hang your head and cry
Still the world marches on as the trumpet sounds
Hang your head and cry

No deed can be so heinous
No action so foul
To come as a surprise
Numbed by repetition and mediocrity
Hang your head and cry

Worlds keeps turning, must be a miracle
Hang your head and cry
Our spirits may be empty but our tanks are full
Hang your head and cry

300 million light years away
Wish that I could fly
Away from the oil and the money and the greed
Hang your head and cry
Track Name: Wrong Side Of Town
The night turned into day
The day turned you around
Blowing down the street like an old newspaper
Your feet barely touch the ground
A coffee shop at 4:00 can really bring you down
Living on the wrong side of town

Got your head inside a bottle
Your world is just a dream
Holding on to memories
And things that can't be seen
You're headed nowhere fast
Your life's in the lost and found
Living on the wrong side of town

CHORUS

The drunkard dies a slow death
At the ballroom tonight
Raise your glass, Make a final toast
For the man who could do no right


Time ticks by and people talk
What do they really know
They can't see inside your heart
And you won't let your feelings show
Put up that wall and hide those tears
With a solemn stone-faced frown
Living on the wrong side of town

Remember how it used to be
Remember where you were
Your head held high, your future bright
You felt so self-assured
A funeral home parking lot
The hell hounds they surround
Living on the wrong side of town

CHORUS
Track Name: Patiently Wait
I'm too young to be better
I'm too old to be green
I'm too late to arrive on the scene
Fashionably late

I'm too smart to be this stupid
Stupid enough to dream
I'll let you decide what I see
When I'm standing at Heaven's gate

So let them stomp, let them stare
Let them compare
Sticks and stones hurt thrown through the air
But I will patiently wait
Yes, I will patiently wait

I've got room left to love
But also the strength to leave
Survey the wreckage and see what I can retrieve
And then I'll be on my way

You can keep your demons
And I'll keep mine
We can keep pretending
Everything's just fine
But I know you can feel the weight
Yes I know you can feel the weight
Track Name: I May Be A Lover
Take this time, take this space
Forgotten smile on a familiar face
The love you gave has been replaced by another

I'll be gone when the morning comes
Take my leave with the rising sun
I know there won't be another one quite like you

I may be a lover
But I'm also a thief
So don't you bother
To try to hold on to me

Every night is a masquerade
And the mask I wore would surely fade
If I thought that I could've stayed
Here with you

But the highway holds my destiny
With every turn it loses me
That's why I stand here so sincerely
Telling you lies

I may be a lover
But I'm also a thief
So don't you bother
To try to hold on to me