Shaver, Sweeney, Jennings release today
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
– Billy Joe Shaver returns to action with his first album in seven years. Sunny Sweeney goes the indie route with her latest, while Shooter Jennings offers a tribute to George Jones.
Shaver's "Long in the Tooth" contains 10 songs on the Lightning Rod Records label. He starts with "Hard to Be an Outlaw" with Willie Nelson helping out on vocals. Ray Kennedy and Gary Nicholson produced, while. Leon Russell, Pig Robbins and Tony Joe White helped out. This is the 74-year-old Shaver's release since "Everybody's Brother" in 2007.
Sweeney is out with "Provoked," after being on Big Machine and Republic Records for a few releases. She started as a traditional country singer from Texas although grew more commercial when on the major labels.
Jennings is out with "Don't Wait Up (For George), a five-song release. Jennings knew Jones because of the late singer's friendship with Waylon Jennings, Shooter's father. Of the five songs, two are originals - "Don't Wait Up (I'm Playin' Possum)" and "Living In A Minor Key."
Bluegrass veteran Larry Sparks puts out "Lonesome and Then Some" on Rebel. Sparks and his mentor, Ralph Stanley, reprise their duet on Carter Stanley's "Loving You Too Well." Curly Seckler, at 94, adds his tenor to the classic "Dim Lights Thick Smoke" from Flatt & Scruggs.
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Billy Joe Shaver does a lot of looking back on life and the travails of love on his first release since 2008's "Everybody's Brother." That's understandable given the rough-and-tumble life of Shaver, who lived up to the outlaw country moniker of his music. Shaver continues in the long line of ace Texas singer/songwriter types like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Shaver puts his cards on the table on the opening "Hard to Be an Outlaw." With help from Willie ...
Waylon and Willie and Johnny and Kris may have lit the fire of public awareness, but those in the know will likely attest to the fact that when the so-called outlaw country movement first took flight, it was Billy Joe Shaver who helped lead the charge. His album "Old Five and Dimers" remains an undisputed classic of the genre, the perfect prototype when it comes to hard-bitten narratives with a rowdy, rambunctious appeal. Likewise, no one questioned his credibility when he unabashedly ...
There's often a fine line between sin and salvation and, like most outlaws, Billy Joe Shaver has one foot in the honky tonk and one in the church pew. Shaver has long expressed the desire to record a "gospel" album and it's fitting...the same weathered voice that speaks convincingly of barrooms and broken hearts is also perfectly suited for singing the praises of Jesus. And it's not like religion is a little-traveled path for Shaver; he has typically included a spiritual ...