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Shaver
April 20, 2001
At Cactus Music
Houston, TX

by Samuel Barker
May 8, 2001

File Under: Western Folk
bands performing
1. Shaver
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  • Billy Joe Shaver
  • When I saw the Billy Joe Shaver was playing a free instore performance at Cactus Music, I couldn't help but be excited to see his performance. Billy Joe is, in my opinion, one of, if not THE, greatest songwriter of the past 40 years. He has written songs that people like Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Waylon Jennings have recorded over the years. He's come from a life of hard work to give everyone a gift in his music.

    I was lucky enough to run into Billy Joe on the sidewalk outside the store and exchange a few words with him, it was a great experience. He was very friendly and even played with my daughter for a bit. He has a certain aura about him, he's like an old friend. You feel comfortable with him and can see kindness in his eyes.

    Once inside it didn't take him long to begin the set. While most bands play 5-6 songs at an instore, Billy Joe played a lot more. He began his set with "Star In My Heart." This is one of my favorite songs off the new album. It was played nicely with Billy Joe playing it all alone, just him and his guitar. For the rest of the set he was accompanied by a guitarist, a bass/mandolin player, and a fiddle player. Billy Joe has a timeless voice that gets inside you.

    The set rolled on for about 10 songs. Billy Joe didn't disappoint anyone, he played a mix of new songs and older ones. He played songs such as "Leaving Amarillo" which was a riot live, "Georgia On A Fast Train" always a fun song, and "I'm Just A Chunk Of Coal" which is Billy Joe's timeless classic.

    It was sad that Shaver is just Billy Joe now, and Eddy has moved on to the great beyond, but you get the stories that Billy Joe had to tell. By watching him perform these songs you can feel the love he has for his family and how much he looks forward to a day when they'll be together again. If attending a performance by Billy Joe Shaver doesn't make you feel enlightened, you're living wrong.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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