When country music big guns like Miranda Lambert or Willie Nelson gather for a tribute album, you know that you have made it. Even though Billy Joe Shaver had limited success in the charts, the album Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver pays respect to the long career of the country artist. It has been released on 11th November 2022.
Billy Joe Shaver – About The Artist
Billy Joe Shaver has been a country and outlaw country artist. He was born in Corsicana Texas, on 16th August 1939 and died at the age of 81 in Waco in 2020. Even though he released music since the early 1970’s, only one of his albums, Long in the Tooth, has been noted in the US Country Charts. The album has also been his final studio album, released in 2014. Overall, Shaver released 17 studio albums.
Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver – Track by Track
The 12 song album lasts 42 minutes.
1. Willie Nelson feat. Lucinda Williams – Live Forever
Ain’t there a better person than Willie Nelson to state
I’m gonna live foreverI’m gonna cross that river I’m gonna catch tomorrow now
? Lucinda Williams gives a nice fine touch to the opener. Great song written by great artist – and interpreted by two ones. This song just cannot go wrong – and it doesn’t.
2. Ryan Bingham feat. Nikki Lane – Ride Me Down Easy
Billy Joe Shaver recorded this track with Bobby Bare – the 2022 version is a collaboration of Ryan Bingham and Nikki Lane. A traditional country song which still feels like a great listen from a today’s perspective, don’t you think?
3. Rodney Crowell – Old Five and Dimers Like Me
The third song is rather going for a very slow and intimate song. The new recording beautifully allows some space for gentle instrumental melodies. A bit of kitsch, but I enjoy that warmth in my heart.
4. Miranda Lambert – I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)
The high level of respect for Billy Joe Shaver could not be better reflected than by a song like the fourth one. Miranda Lambert turns the 1981 recording (that’s two years before her birth) into her very own song. I love the swinging ease of the strings and the piano in this track. Thumbs up!
5. Edie Brickell – I Couldn’t Be Me Without You
With Eddie Brickell, the album is presenting another big name of the genre as a guest musician. The song is rather an acoustic guitar country song, but also uses some additional instruments like light rhythmic support from the drums. Even though the song has a touch of a lullaby melody to me, I enjoy the listen.
6. Nathaniel Rateliff – You Asked Me To
Billie Joe Shaver wrote You Asked Me To together with Waylon Jennings, who finally recorded the song and turned it into a Top 10 one in 1973. Five years later, Shaver did his version – with less success. With the vocal style of Nathaniel Rateliff, You Asked Me To gets a frech touch without denying that the song is some 50 years old. Just as you should do on a tribute album.
7. George Strait – Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me
This twelve song time travel into the history of country music is simply fascinating in my point of view. Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me is a great piece in the mosaic of songs. Or is it George Strait and his great, legendary voice? Or both? Traditional country lovers are absolutely fine to have a little tear in their eyes – the story and this version is a beauty.
8. Amanda Shires feat. Jason Isbell – Honky Tonk Heroes
This 1994 song is one of the rather modern song by Billy Joe Shaver on this album. The lovely, high voice by Amanda Shires gently leads into the song, before the song is increasing the energy level significantly. The steel guitars are howling – Yee-Haw, that’s fun!
9. Steve Earle – Ain’t No God in Mexico
I guess there is hardly an “ordinary” country music sampler which is featuring this amazing set of artists. The next legend picking up the microphone to praise is a colleague is nobody else but Steve Earle. You just have to listen to the raspy voice, the groovy song and the very present fiddle and steel guitar melodies.
10. Margo Price feat. Joshua Hedley – Ragged Old Truck
You are looking for a beautiful, traditional country music duet for your playlist? This one should be one of the candidates. No matter if you need a soundtrack for a cozy evening or to warm up for some more romantic times – Ragged Old Truck does touch your soul in this magical collaboration.
11. Willie Nelson – Georgia on a Fast Train
Willie Nelson, the second one. This time, the unstoppable artist is doing a really fast song out of Georgia on a Fast Train – and it just feels like a great Willie Nelson recording. Great different flavor on this album.
12. Allison Russell – Tramp on Your Street
After this fast-paced song, the album is going for a very slow and genuine finale. Allison Russell has the honor to close the album with this ballad, which is also the longest track on the whole collection of songs. Nice.
Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver – My View
One of the best ratings I assigned this year was to the album This Life by Curtis Stigers. The legendary artist re-interpreted his own song jazz music style. Here, Country music legends praise a fantastic songwriter. And the result is an amazing tribute album? May 2022 is just the perfect year for that. Looking back in time with a nowadays viewpoint. Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver absolutely deserves the Top Pick! rating.
Media Reviews (Music Legends)
Flyctory.com about Ice Hockey
Here are all ice hockey postings on Flyctory.com: