Billy Joe Shaver, the iconic Texas singer/songwriter/author presents 20 live cuts of his well-known songs plus two songs new to his recorded repertoire. This is a 2-disc set with an audio disc and a DVD of the show. There are live shows and then there are live shows, and Billy Joe's live shows are worth seeing because they are always different, some are acoustic, some with a band, and then there is his wide ranging catalogue of songs to draw on, and everyone has their own personal favorite. Here he is backed by some young guns who are competent and don't make any miss-steps, but it is the man who stands tall, who far outshines his company. It is his direct honesty and his way of telling his stories at that particular moment (each time he tells a story it changes somewhat) that steals the show. He pares away the dross and drool and tells the story from his no nonsense vantage point which is the strong focus of his songs. He is a songwriter who tells linear stories in songs, and that is why songs such as Honky Tonk Heroes, Ride Me Down Easy, Old Chunk of Coal and That's What She Said Last Night, have such staying power. They have the truth that is in all of us—we have had or have imagined the story happen to us.
Billy Joe Shaver comes from a hardscrabble life where foolish nonsense is not tolerated and yet living fast and easy is there. Tough times and tragic and wild adventures happen and you live through them or not and go on to the finish line. There is a poetic eloquence to plain language, simplicity that makes the images vivid and real. The songs are alive when he sings them and slaps you across the face with their imagery or touching moments and you feel their truth. An excellent compilation of some of his noteworthy songs and the accompanying video gives you a good feel for the man himself.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles