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Music Spotlight

Billy Joe Shaver

It's rare that you get to see a legend at Local 506. Sure, Sleazefest has been known to attract such legendary cult figures as Hasil Adkins and the late Ernie K-Doe, but on Sunday, Dec. 1, Local 506 will host bona fide Texas songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver, whose career is approaching the 40-year mark. A couple of years after he hitchhiked to Nashville in 1966 on a whim, Shaver's songs began to get exposure courtesy of Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Tom T. Hall (who once said of Shaver: "If the world is God's television set, Billy Joe Shaver is on Monday mornings at 3"). Shaver's best-known song remains "Georgia on Fast Train," from his '73 debut Old Five and Dimers Like Me, but he's still writing gems like "Corsicana Daily Sun," which demonstrates how to do nostalgia right, and "That's Why the Man in Black Sings the Blues." Those two are from the brand new Freedom's Child, Shaver's follow-up to the mighty fine The Earth Rolls On and the first album he's recorded since the death of his son and musical partner, Eddy, in December 2000. Billy Joe Shaver may have won a Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting at September's first annual Americana Music Assocation Awards, but his career continues to barrel along like that celebrated fast train.
--Rick Cornell

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