(conqueroo) Billy Joe Shaver has set a July 17th release date for his first album in five years, Live at Billy Bob's Texas.
For the album Billy Joe Shaver and his Heart of Texas Band offer the best from his catalog of songs in concert from the stage of the world's largest honky tonk.
The fully loaded special package includes 20 live renditions of some of his most notable compositions on an audio CD and DVD as well as two bonus tracks, and is the first set of new concert recordings since 1995 to be issued to the public. Included among Shaver classics and favorites are two new songs: "Wacko From Waco" (co-written with his longtime friend Willie Nelson) and "The Git Go," proving that his muse remains as fertile as ever.
Born, raised and still living in the rolling plains of Central Texas, Shaver is not just the epitome of a songwriter's songwriter, but a singer, recording artist and performer as well as actor and published author. A genuine salt of the earth natural talent whose acclaimed work is free of any artifice. The esteem he has accrued since 1973 — when he issued his first album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, and Waylon Jennings recorded nine of Shaver's songs on his landmark Honky Tonk Heroes LP that heralded the arrival of country music's outlaw movement — is best measured by the fellow writers and talents who admire, perform and have recorded his compositions. Revered American novelist John Steinbeck's favorite song was "Old Five and Dimers," which has also been played at live shows by Bob Dylan, who mentions Shaver in his recent song "I Feel a Change Comin' On." Just some of the distinguished artists who have recorded Shaver's works are Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, The Allman Brothers, Bobby Bare, John Anderson, George Jones, Tex Ritter, Patty Loveless and Willie Nelson, who says that "Billy Joe Shaver may be the best songwriter alive today."
At the same time, there's nothing else like Shaver himself performing his songs. Live at Billy Bob's Texas delivers all the dynamism, musical variety, emotion and personality of a Shaver show in both audio and video. The set opens with his paean to his home place, "Heart of Texas," a Lone Star dancehall two-step with a rock kick from his band: guitarist Jeremy Woodall, drummer Jason Lynn McKenzie and bassist Matt Davis. Included are vibrant renditions of such signature Shaver numbers as "Georgia on a Fast Train," "Honky Tonk Heroes," "Old Chunk of Coal," "Live Forever" and "Old Five and Dimers," along with gems from across the range of his career. Shaver rocks numbers like "That's What She Said Last Night," "Black Rose," "Hottest Thing in Town" and others. He hits an electric Western groove on "Thunderbird," harks back to ragtime on "Good Old USA," country-waltzes Texas style on "I Couldn't Be Me Without You," tenderly renders "Star in My Heart" a cappella, and wraps it all up with a rousing "You Can't Beat Jesus Christ." His recent legal troubles are wittily recounted on "Wacko From Waco" while the hauntingly bluesy "The Git Go" deftly summarizes the facts of life since the dawn of history. The double-disc set is the ultimate Shaver live experience as well as a de facto greatest hits collection, and finds Shaver as potent as ever in front of an enthusiastic audience.
The Live at Billy Bob's Texas series includes more than two hundred #1 Billboard hits. Billy Joe Shaver is the 42nd artist to record for the series, joining Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Gary Stewart, David Allan Coe, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen and many others as a member of the Live at Billy Bob's Texas family.