Billy Joe Shaver
One of the saddest music-related stories of the year so far has to be the early morning death of Eddy Shaver on New Year's Eve
. You have to marvel at the resilience of Billy Joe Shaver
-- Eddy's father and bandmate in Shaver -- whose wife and mother also passed away not that long ago. In true road-dog fashion, Billy Joe was on the road -- not long after his son's death -- supporting the last album he and Eddy made together. The album, The Earth Rolls On
, shows that great musical balance the Shavers had, with Billy Joe the Honky Tonk hero and Eddy's textural guitar providing a more contemporary, Rock edge. Producer Ray Kennedy (half of the Twangtrust production team, with Steve Earle) also gives a lot to the success of Earth
, especially on the expansive, soulful title track. Billy Joe has temporarily retired the band-name Shaver, but, given some of the prophetic and touching lyrics on Earth
("Star of My Soul," "Blood is Thicker Than Water"), Eddy's spirit will linger as long as Billy Joe is still on stage. And, before you think that this gig might be a little too "heavy" and depressing, know that Billy Joe always puts on an upbeat, rockin' show, as shown on the new album with frisky songs like "New York City Girl" and "Leavin' Amarillo."
At the Southgate House on Sunday with The Tarbox Ramblers.