A lot of singers mellow as they wind down the years, relying on past hits and covers to fill any new album that may come along. Not so Billy Joe Shaver. At 75 he’s doing what he’s always done best – writing, touring and singing good Country Music. His tour supporting his latest album, Long In The Tooth, stopped at Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom last night, courtesy of Marianne Taylor Music. For over two non-stop hours Shaver showed a packed house how it’s done. He did a little dancin’ and a bit of shadow boxing while giving a kick ass performance.
I made the choice not to listen to his new album, Long In The Tooth prior to last night’s show. I wanted to hear him perform the songs along side his hits. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. New tunes like “It’s Hard To Be an Outlaw”, “I’ll Love You as Much as I Can” and “Last Call for Alcohol” stand right up with “Old Five and Dimers” and “Honky Tonk Heros.” Shaver mixed new in with old, reaching into his vast catalog to keep the crowd on its feet the entire night. At 75 years young, Billy Joe Shaver may be Long In The Tooth bit he’s definitely not short on talent. That old lump of coal just may have turned to diamond!
Dave Brainard, Grassicana
Get Out and See It Live!