5 Reasons To Go See - Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver
  1. He’s the real McCoy (and then some)
    The son of Texan cotton-pickers and moonshine-runners, BJS arrived in Nashville on the back of a cantaloupe truck after spells as a farmhand, sailor, rodeo bum, and lumber mill worker (he lost two fingers to the saw).
  2. He’s also, incidentally, the bee’s knees
    Waylon Jennings made a whole album out of Shaver’s songs (Honky Tonk Heroes was a landmark in the ‘outlaw country’ movement, returning the music to its roots after years of showbiz sugaring). Cash, Dylan and Elvis have recorded his stuff, too.
  3. He’s a visionary
    In 1978, in Nashville, in between chasing women, doing drugs and smoking Camel cigarettes, he saw Jesus (subsequently writing the classic ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal . . . but I’m Gonna be a Diamond Some Day’).
  4. When it comes to a lyric, BJS has it licked
    ‘The devil made me do it the first time. The second time I done it on my own.’
  5. How often do you come across someone called ‘Billy Joe’ in an Edinburgh bar?
    This is one of those legend-in-a-small-room opportunities; no hype required.

Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Apr.


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