Tag Archives: billy joe shaver

Artist Spotlight: Billy Joe Shaver


Billy Joe Shaver has never been a household name, but his songs became country standards during the ’70s and his reputation among musicians and critics hasn’t diminished during the ensuing decades.

One of the best synopses of Shaver’s upbringing is his own song, “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train.” When he sings, “my grandma’s old-age pension is the reason that I’m standing here today,” he ain’t kidding. The “good Christian raising” and “eighth grade education” — not to mention being abandoned by his parents shortly after being born, working on his uncles’ farms instead of going to high school, and losing part of his fingers during a job at a sawmill — are all part of his life story. “I got all my country learning,” he sings, “picking cotton, raising hell, and bailing hay.”

Here’s what the press is saying about Billy Joe Shaver’s new album:

Long in the Tooth
PRESS QUOTES (just the tip of the iceberg)
October 20, 2014
“Shaver isn’t a household name himself, but he’s among the most respected living writers of country music.” —NPR MORNING EDITION
“He’s become a much more interesting artist in his old age.” —NPR FRESH AIR
“A haunting, burning, world-weary tour de force on the ways of the world” —UNCUT
Arguably his most fully realized album in a 50-plus-year career.” —ESQUIRE
 you’re going to get the truth from Billy Joe. He speaks the way he writes, candidly and with a novelist’s gift for keen observation. Long in the Tooth is full of straightforward, slice-of-life songs that speak to the subjects of love, messing around, childhood memories and even the current record industry, of which he’s not especially enamored.” —COUNTRY WEEKLY
“Owing to his indomitable instincts, Long in the Tooth is among Shaver’s best yet.” —RELIX 
“Shaver’s songs — chronicling life as a sinner, booer, brawler and teller ofd tall tales — has never shied away from gritty drama.” —ACOUSTIC GUITAR
“This is pure, non-commercial country, the way Shaver has always played it, performed with grit and grace from one of the genre’s most under appreciated yet veteran artists who, to borrow a quote from Dylan Thomas, is clearly “not going gently into that good night.” —AMERICAN SONGWRITER
The wild rebel streak that made Shaver’s lyrics sound fearless when he first hit Nashville made him seem plain reckless in every other regard. Even now, after twenty years of sobriety, he maintains an appreciable distance from convention.” —TEXAS MONTHLY
“All these years later, he’s still, by his own admission, more coal than diamond. But whaty Shaver fan woild want him any other way?”—LONE STAR MUSIC
“When it comes to listing all the true country music heroes from that time of Waylon and Willie and the boys, put Billy Joe Shaver right at the top of the pack. He earns it every time he opens his mouth—and heart.” —THE MORTON REPORT
“It ought to guve shaver that long overdue and erstwhile elusive chart success he deserves.” —MAVERICK
On his first studio disc in seven years, 75-year-old country outlaw Shaver sounds older, wiser and calmer than the two-fisted hellraiser he was. But he’s still got more than enough spark — plus some help from old pals like Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Tony Joe White — to power these old-school honky-tonk and country confessions. He may be long in the tooth, but he ain’t short on what it takes.” —TORONTO SUN
There are some songs that may rank with Shaver’s best. That’s no small feat for the man who wrote ‘Georgia on a Fast Train,’ ‘Honky Heroes’ and’Ride Me Down Easy,’ among others in what Steve Earle calls ‘one of the greatest bodies of work ever produced by any songwriter dead or alive’” —NO DEPRESSION
Not only did he pen the picaresque songs that launched one of popular music’s most enduring genres, Mr. Shaver has lived them.” —THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Billy Joe Shaver came into this world rough around the edges, so his songwriting resonates with unmatched autobiographical intensity and Long in the Tooth follows suit. Contrary to the album title, he ain’t headed for pasture anytime soon.” —AUSTIN CHRONICLE
“Absolutely magnetic and filled with a joy of life that he earned the hard way.” —LOS ANGELES TIMES (live review)
“Old cowboys love to lament that contemporary country music’s in a sorry state and guilty of casting aside sage singers and songwriters — like Billy Joe Shaver. The crusty Texan trots out that trope at the start of his new album, and then spends the rest of the record showing he still has plenty to say.” —THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP)
“he’s still one of the best country songwriters out there and his song catalog is among the greatest in the whole history of the genre. Here’s hoping that this set isn’t a swan song and that he still has more songs in him to add to that impressive legacy.” —ALL MUSIC
“This is an album that rings with the truth, filled with songs that remain in your head long after the album has ended.” —ELMORE
Long In The Tooth is a welcome return by one of country music’s iconoclasts. Billy Joe Shaver has made a record that is warm, angry, witty, and most of all, honest. Let’s hope he doesn’t stay away so long next time.” —POPSHIFTER
“Shaver has made a good career in music, and yet he’s still got enough edge to sing earnestly about the little man.” —AXS
“Legendary roughneck Texas poet.” —CMT EDGE