Country Outlaw Billy Joe Shaver At 75: New Album, Same Old Grit

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 05:52 PM Written by 

On today's "Believe Your Ears" music podcast, I look at Texas country outlaw Billy Joe Shaver's album Long In The Tooth, released Tuesday on Lightning Rod Records. 

Known as "The Original Honky Tonk Hero," Shaver turns 75 this year, over 40 years after he started making inroads in the Nashville music scene with his unvarnished, straight talking songs.  Some of his best appeared on the now-classic 1973 Waylon Jennings album Honky Tonk Heroes. Born in Corsicana, Texas, also the  birthplace of honky tonk icon and Country Music Hall of Famer Lefty Frizzell,  Shaver never became a megastar like friends Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, but in the 90's he built a solid following with a series of admired albums featuring son Eddy Shaver on guitar.  Eddy died in 2000, but Shaver has maintained the raucous, gnarly sound on his subsequent work. You may have heard him sing the theme song to the show Squidbillies on cable's "Adult Swim". He also co-starred in the Robert Duvall film The Apostle.

Click here for my review.

This is a promotional video for the album featuring the duet with Willie Nelson, on "Hard To Be An Outlaw."  Note the unsubtle jabs at the synthetic slop currently masquerading as country.


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