Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Billy Joe Shaver...

I saw Billy Joe Shaver at the Conroe Americana Music Festival this past weekend. He was playing in the Sparkle Ice House. It looks like an old warehouse turned into an open air bar with beer iced in tubs. Not the first time I have seen Billy Joe and I hope it's not the last. There were many young up and coming bands but we got to talk about the guy who helped lead the way. You might say I have been under his influence for awhile because way back in the mid 70s when I had Waylon and David Allen Coe tapes stuck in the 8 track I did not know that they were covering Billy Joe Shaver songs. Waylon is dead. Coe don't matter anymore. Billy Joe is a dancing shaman, a guru, a movie star, and leads the spiritual way for Texas on a Saturday night. 

If you make a quick check of Billy Joe's wiki page his life is quite notable and is filled with events that we may have experienced ourselves but lacked the ability to put those highs and lows into song. Who else has been mentioned in a song by Bob Dylan, starred in movies with Robert Duvall, had a heart attack on stage, married the same woman several times, lost his guitar playing son to an overdose, saved Todd Scnider and been acquitted on the grounds of self defense for shooting a guy outside a bar?  Billy Joe man, Billy Joe.

All this comes out in performance. He fronts one of those greasy groove Texas bands that while they get billed as country it rocks out to be totally something transcending.    

Texas bar nights. It's what you do with your life. 

Note the right hand. Billy Joe worked in a lumber mill before the songwriting started paying. He cut those fingers off but to recover and teach himself to play guitar. I met people who tell me "I play the guitar but not too good." I say stop holding yourself back. 

Billy Joe is 77 years old. Looking at his web page tour schedule he has 9 gigs scheduled from June to September. They are all over the country so plan well. He's bad nation wide. 

Billy Joe says in a song "Heart of Texas is where I come from." He was born in Corsicana and has another song about "a good Christian raising and an eight grade education." I don't know a better way to describe what he brings to a performance.  

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Blogger Tonia said...

Love this! Seeing Shaver live is on the bucket list...

11:40 PM  
Blogger Carl said...


5:01 AM  

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