STORYTELLERS: Billy Joe Shaver – “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (feat. Willie Nelson)

Billy Joe Shaver – Long In The Tooth is available @ iTunes.

Billy Joe Shaver

by Walter Price

 

Texas-born, Godfather of Outlaw Country, Billy Joe Shaver has had a long and winding road of a life and career, to put it mildly. He’s famously worked with legendary names like Willie, Waylon, Flaco Jiménez, Bobby Bare, and Dickey Betts, to name a handful. Bob Dylan and Elvis dug his songwriting and respect from his peers is unwavering. Which is kind of interesting and a bit heartbreaking considering the fact that this legend hadn’t had an album to chart on Billboard Country charts until 2014’s ‘Long In The Tooth’.

An album of all original songs that embodies everything the Outlaw spirit was founded on so many decades ago. Raw, aged grit in storytelling. A lifetime of experiences laid out in a voice that the newer music scenes have somewhat forgotten or never knew in the first place.

The track “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (featuring Willie Nelson) is a sentimental song. In the vein of George Jones’ “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”, this song reminisces the past and ponders the future of country music. Will the authentic storytellers be remembered in this new era of hip-hop laced, backroad bro-country?

And it’s hard to be an outlaw who ain’t wanted anymore
And the only friends that’s left is them behind them swinging doors
And it’s hard to keep your trying when your back is to the floor
And it’s hard to be an outlaw who ain’t wanted anymore

White lightning is the horse I ride pedal to the floor
He blows hot from his nostrils and runs like Man-O-War
Someday we both may wind up in some junkyard on the side
Until that day you bet your ass we’re gonna win that ride

Some superstars nowadays get too far off the ground
Singing ’bout the backroads they never have been down
They go and call it country, but that ain’t the way it sounds
It’s enough to make a renegade want to terrorize the town

Billy, we’ll remember.

 

BILLY JOE SHAVER

website / twitter

“It’s not the tight pants and all that other shit, you know? It’s the song,” he says. “I hate to say it, but it’s true: I think some of the big-time stars actually started with songs written by someone else and they got popular and thought they could write too. They couldn’t.

“Not everyone can be dedicated to it. I’m a songwriter first and then whatever else I do second… I enjoy the heck out of entertaining and I enjoy all the aspects of what comes with it, but the song is like the cheapest psychiatrist there is. And I pretty much need one all the time,” he says with a raspy laugh.” – BJS (RS Country)

 

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