Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Billy Joe Shaver|
Tramp on Your Street
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Billy Joe Shaver has never had a hit of his own, but he's written plenty of hits for others (John Anderson's "Old Chunk of Coal," Tom T. Hall's "Old Five and Dimers," Bobby Bare's "Ride Me Down Easy"), and he's credited fo... more »
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Billy Joe Shaver has never had a hit of his own, but he's written plenty of hits for others (John Anderson's "Old Chunk of Coal," Tom T. Hall's "Old Five and Dimers," Bobby Bare's "Ride Me Down Easy"), and he's credited for launching the "Outlaw Country" movement by writing every song but one on Waylon Jennings's 1973 album, Honky Tonk Heroes. Shaver's own albums, though, are highly prized among critics and his fellow musicians, and both those camps celebrated the release of only his second album in 11 years, 1996's Tramp on Your Street. Waylon Jennings helps out his old pal on the autobiographical "Heart of Texas" and on "Oklahoma Wind," which manages to evoke the tragedy of the American Indian without getting all sentimental. Brother Phelps adds hillbilly harmonies to two songs. Best of all is the title song, a true story about a 10-year-old Billy Joe Shaver walking 10 miles to hear Hank Williams sing at the Wonder Bread bakery in Corsicana, Texas. The song blossoms, however, into a universal anthem about the importance of culture to the poorest and most desperate among us. --Geoffrey Himes
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It don't get no better than this
Andy Agree | Omaha, NE | 04/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm working my way backward in time in discovering the rich musical legacy of father and son Billy Joe and Eddie Shaver. I started with 2000's The Earth Rolls On, another 5-star recording, but this one, from 1993, is even a little better. This kind of music carries on the authentic legacy of rock 'n roll and western swing in a way that contemporary pop and country music absolutely do not. The musical licks are sharp, the vocals full-throated (with some help from Waylon Jennings) and the words always heartfelt and often funny. Very rarely does an artist deliver six tunes in a row as powerful as Tracks 1-6 here. One of my favorites is #3, Georgia on a Fast Train ("Got a good Christian raisin' and a 8th grade education, ain't no need y'all a treatin' me this way"). Eddie's guitar licks come so fast that Billy Joe has to caution him, "Aw, slow down, Eddie" (or is it "throw down"?). I also especially like #5, If I Give My Soul, an autobiographical account in which Billy Joe wonders if he can save his marriage by giving his soul to Jesus. (In reality, he did both.) Track 7, KAND Corsicana, Texas, is a novelty item, a seemingly authentic 1944 radio announcement of the beginning of the D-Day invasion followed by a quick prayer for our troops, and right into Track 8, Good Ol' USA. I first listened to this CD as anti-US demonstrations were sweeping the world, and our troops were preparing for another invasion, and the cumulative weight of this music made me want it to be heard and understood by all our enemies who haven't got a clue what this country is about. Naive, maybe, but this CD is a piece of bedrock American culture that can make us all proud. Billy Joe, you are a national treasure."
5+ Stars for a Living Legend!
John B. Taylor | Alexander City, AL USA | 05/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank the good Lord that Billy Joe Shaver came into my life around 1993! The video for 'Georgia On A Fast Train' was just so cool, with this raspy voiced elder statesman dispensing hard earned wisdom amidst the blazing guitar of a long haired virtuoso. The cute girlfriend (Eddy's, I'd suppose he he) dancing at the shack wasn't too bad either! Next, it was the derriere kicking video for 'Hottest Thing In Town' that caught my eyes and ears. It again featured the ringing guitar of the one I had come to know as Billy Joe's son, Eddy Shaver.I was indeed enthralled by this record and had to explore why this Billy Joe dude is called a 'living legend'. This record is outstanding, and kicks off with two duets with Waylon Jennings. It seemed fitting that Billy's resurgent record would open with Waylon's assistance, as it was Billy's muse that produced the great songs that became Jenning's 'Honky Tonk Heroes' in 1973 and introduced Billy to the world. No small feat for the 'unknown writer' at the time, seeing as though it is considered the opening salvo of the 'outlaw movement'. I was very pleased to hear Billy's "Old Chunk of Coal" after being familiar with John Anderson's version. Billy's version carries more emotional weight as he imbues the song with first person emotion; indeed, the song was orginally written in the late 1970s when Billy decided to forgo wine and drink with the help of his good Lord. I've since found out that the legend himself, Johnny Cash recorded the song in the late 70s as well. 'Good Ol' USA' is a unique piece, basically melding the seemingly disparate elements of 'music hall' with the wisdom of a honky tonk bard. The two duets with Brother Phelps are excellent and make you wonder if the chief 'Headhunter' is still on the prowl! 'Live Forever' is absolutely a stunning piece of spirituality, with excellent picking by Eddy on the acoustic. "If I Give My Soul' is a more uptempo tune and mimics the theme of the aforementioned 'Old Chunk of Coal'. There's nothing much more you can say about 'Georgia On A Fast Train' besides it's much different from the original tune included on his 1973 debut 'Old Five and Dimers' which had a slower, storytelling tempo. "Got a good Christian raisin' and a 8th grade education, ain't no need y'all a treatin' me this way" summates in a nutshell where Billy Joe is coming from. Oh yea, I recall there is a sequence in the video where Eddy is playing on a railraod track which reminded me of the ballyhooed video featuring Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Let's just say it did not remind one of some clever sales gimmick as the Shavers are as real as real can be. Eddy was indeed a great hard rock guitarist! R.I.P.'Hottest Thing In Town' is a 'hard honky tonkin' rock' tune that will have you on your feet for the longest! The cd reminds me somewhat of Johnny Cash's 'UnChained' album in that you have a country legend pairing up with a rocker a la Tom Petty. Shaver leaned more toward the hillbilly blues side of things than The Man In Black though and this album is built on original material while Cash's American Recordings series is built more on great covers. I'd say this is akin to Hank Williams Sr. coming back to the land of the living and recording with say, Eddie Van Halen!!!There is a great live cd "Unshaven: Live At Smith's Olde Bar" that chonicles many of these tunes and captures the ferocity of Shaver live. I had the chance to see Shaver live in 1998 at a club in Houston, Texas. What energy and verve these guys displayed!!! Billy Joe came out into the audience after the show and I even chatted with him a minute or two. I told him I was from Alabama and that Texas had a Montgomery and Huntsville within 25 miles of each other, much like two of Alabama's four largest cities. He mentioned he had lived in both Huntsvilles and I asked him how it felt living near the 'death chamber'. Billy said the Alabama version of Huntsville provoked death more than the Texas one because 'you die from the rocket fumes'. The guy is like meeting your next door neighbor or something; no pretense whatsoever. Perhaps this kept him from being the 'household name' he deserves to be because he does not have a 'stars air' to him. I like to believe it makes him more remarkable and loved by the fans because 'he is what he is' on his records! The girldfriend wasn't bad, either LOL!This is a 5 star record easily, but I'd still say 'Old Five and Dimers' is the pinnacle of the songwriting muse of Billy Joe Shaver. 'Outlaw classics' such as 'Willie the Wandering Gypsy', 'Georgia On a Fast Train', 'Good Christian Soldier', and 'Old Five and Dimers' debuted on that magic platter. Chances are if it was an outlaw hit for Willie, Waylon, Kristofferson, Cash, or even Tom T. Hall, it was penned by Billy. In fact, Tom T. Hall said Billy was his favorite songwriter.I'd put this cd in the Top 5 of alt country-country rock records I've heard in the last 15 years behind 'American Recordings' by Mr. Cash and 'The Impossible Bird' by Cash's former son in law, Nick Lowe. GREAT RECORD!Go check out the All Music Guide and see that they say on a review for 'Victory' that Mr. Shaver is "the only songwriter who could ever hope to stand toe-to-toe with Hank Williams, Sr". Get this cd and many others and see why for yourself!Billy has went through a lot of late, with the loss of Eddy, his mother, his wife, and his own heart attack. I raise my glass to his resilience, managing to put out a great record like 'Freedom's Child' last year amidst all the heartache."
Billy Joe proves Nashville can be forgotten
John Wallingford | mantua | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have 3 Billy Joe Shaver cds. All of them are excellent. Why, in the later years of Billy Joe's life, does Nashville exclude the real purveyors of country music from its pantheon of stars? I'll never know. This cd starts with the help of Waylon Jennings and you can see why Waylon borrowed heavily from the Billy Joe songbook. Waylon's deeper voice makes these tunes shine, but it is the songs themselves that are already diamonds. Waylon just put the luster on a polished stone.
Eddie Shaver is a great guitarist. He will be missed. This boy could chops some wood! And he has great taste in not overdoing any of these numbers. He should have been a a studio mainstay in Nashville, instead he is dead.
His father is the master behind all of this. What a great songwriter and even a good singer and muscian. If you are country music fan, please get this cd and find out what Nashville had either forgotten or doesn't know about."