Shuffleton's Barbershop (The Way Back Home)

Composed By: Lawrence Shragge

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Drawing inspiration from the 1950 painting by Norman Rockwell, Shuffleton's Barbershop is a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie starring Austin Stowell as famous country singer Trey Cole.  After abandoning the town many years before, not even returning for his brother's funeral or to help his sister (Kayla Ewell) raise her son, Trey finds himself lost.  He decides to head back to his home town and visit with a man who was more of a father to him than his own, his local barber Charlie Shuffleton (Danny Glover).  Shocked and dismayed to learn of his passing, Trey thinks back to all of the times he sat in Charlie's barbershop chair and the life's lessons he learned there, hoping he can figure out a way to face his father and his family and finally set things right.

                The musical score of Shuffleton's Barbershop was created by American composer Lawrence Shragge whose career in musical composition began at a very young age while seated in front of a television.  Instead of just watching what was on TV, Shragge would turn the volume off, composing new music for what he saw on screen.  Years later, he attended Berklee College of Music and Eastman School of Music before beginning composing music for television and film in earnest in the early 1980s.  Some of his most recent works include the musical scores for Cold Steel, Help for the Holidays, The Bling Ring, Puppy Love and more.

                The Shuffleton's Barbershop Soundtrack features some good, fun, down-home Dixie music with guitars, a harmonica and a fiddle up until the fourth track, Fire, which still features some of that Dixie, but mixes in some seriousness and a sense of drama.  The next track, Red, introduces some orchestral music and the soundtrack definitely has a more serious feel going forward.  I, for one, loved the piano and guitar tracks on this album the best. 

                There are also a few country songs on this album like Reach the Light, Waiting, Forever is Only for A While and For the First Time, the latter two performed quite well by Austin Stowell with accompaniment by Kayla Ewell. 

                The music created by Lawrence Shragge for Shuffleton's Barbershop not only reflects the musical styles of the film's location, but also the emotional struggles of the main character.  It's the perfect score for the visuals and emotions in the film and makes quite an enjoyable stand alone storytelling album.  Shuffleton's Barbershop (The Way Back Home) is one of those albums that music aficionados won't want to miss.


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