(Smith Music Group)
In his 70’s now, Outlaw Country legend Billy Joe Shaver is
still trekking across the country from club to club and if there was ever any
doubt that he still has what it takes to pack the shows, Live at Billy Bob’s Texas is proof enough that he’s still living up
to his rep as one of the original Outlaws of Country, sitting firmly beside
Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
Recorded at the venerable Dallas club in 2011, the set captures the rugged singer songwriter at his absolute
best. Playing through his most popular songs (I’ll refrain from using a term
like “hits” as Shaver has never really received the mass adulation from the
record-buying public that he has earned), this set acts as a stellar jukebox of
his better-known songs like “Whacko From Waco” and “Old Chunk of Coal”.
Though everyone from Elvis to Waylon has recorded his songs,
Shaver has never really made it huge as a country singer (tragic when you
consider what passes for a country superstar nowadays). His songs, like Shaver
himself, are stripped off all pretention and flare, shunning pomp for solid
songwriting. On the accompanying DVD, he takes the stage in faded jeans, an old
denim work shirt and scuffed boots, simple and genuine. The DVD intersperses
live performances with folks like Willie and Pat Green singing Shaver’s praises
and some priceless song introductions and banter with the audience (introducing
“Wacko From Waco” about the real gunfight he had with a man outside a bar in
2007 he says “I shot him right between the mother and the fucker”.
The decades that have passed since he first recorded and
released these songs, have added a nice patina to Shaver’s tunes and voice, the
gruffness putting an exclamation mark to the tunes.
What She Said Last Night,” “Wacko From Waco” and “Old Chunk of Coal” JOHN B.