Real Deal

Real Deal

by Billy Joe Shaver
     
 

Through good times and bad, Billy Joe Shaver has kept doing what he does best -- write songs that dig deep into a listener's soul to touch meaningful chords. For the most part a straight-ahead country and honky-tonk workout, The Real Deal bristles with energy, tenderness, whimsy, and piercing lyrical insights. Big & Rich guest as producers and bandmates on theSee more details below

Overview

Through good times and bad, Billy Joe Shaver has kept doing what he does best -- write songs that dig deep into a listener's soul to touch meaningful chords. For the most part a straight-ahead country and honky-tonk workout, The Real Deal bristles with energy, tenderness, whimsy, and piercing lyrical insights. Big & Rich guest as producers and bandmates on the raucous opening track, "Live Forever," which harks back to the sizzling, rock-tinged manifestoes Billy Joe and his late son served up a few years back. Elsewhere, Shaver reclaims the turf he's owned since "Old Five and Dimers like Me." Aching twin fiddles, yearning dobro lines, and somber waltz rhythm form an evocative landscape for a sober but altogether hilarious account of low self-esteem in the wake of a breakup on "You Ought to Be with Me when I'm Alone." Similarly, an easygoing shuffle spiked with robust dobro commentary, "It Just Ain't There for Me No More" finds Billy Joe half thankful, half regretful over a busted love affair. Stomping and twanging his way through "Jesus Christ Is Still the King," Shaver offers a wry commentary on the road to salvation that might get him kicked out of church but would make him welcome at the bar. And who would've guessed this old five and dimer was a closet rockabilly? Indeed, the breakup missive "I Changed My Mind" meshes the click-clack of rockabilly with a pedal steel–fired country-western flavor in one of the album's most delightful, rocking moments. Trying on a variety of rootsy styles and finding that they all fit, Billy Joe Shaver embodies his album's title as gracefully as he's weathered his personal storms of recent years. It sounds like one for the ages.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
If any album will bring Texas legend Billy Joe Shaver the widespread acclaim and commercial success he has deserved for 30 years, The Real Deal is it. Recorded for Compadre Records, it features 14 new songs and a redo of his and his late son Eddy's classic "Live Forever" with Nashville hotshots Big & Rich. The tune's been duded up some and doesn't have the stark power the original does, but as an anthem it works like a charm. In fact, the words still shine through the mix here because at age 66, Shaver's become one hell of a singer. There are other duets here as well. Nanci Griffith makes an appearance on "Valentine," a spare, acoustically driven ballad. Kimmie Rhodes -- another Austin songwriter who deserves far more than she's received -- duets with him on his "West Texas Waltz." The new version is elegant, deep, and soulful. And Kevin Fowler shows up on the honky tonk strutter "Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys" with the fine lyric "They've got a new song out on Polish Records/It'll be a Polish hit real soon." Country gospel makes its appearance on "Jesus Christ Is Still the King." "You Ought to Be with Me When I'm Alone" is one of Shaver's great broken love songs. The shuffling title track lays out the truth of Shaver's own story, and it's as down-home, dirt-filled, and dusty as the West Texas landscape. The Real Deal boasts nothing it can't deliver, and it is the album Billy Joe Shaver's been waiting to make all his life. It is full of heart, blood, grit, and poetry.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
Label:
Compadre Records
UPC:
0616892664222
catalogNumber:
926642

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joe Shaver   Primary Artist
Nanci Griffith   Vocals
Mickey Raphael   Harp
Kimmie Rhodes   Background Vocals
Brian Barnett   Drums
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
John Gardner   Percussion
Lloyd Maines   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Mark Patterson   Drums
Paul Worley   Electric Guitar
Jonathan Yudkin   Fiddle,Violectra
Joe Gracey   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Michael Rojas   Keyboards
Max Baca   Bass (Vocal),Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Bajo Sexto,Vocal Harmony
Gabe Rhodes   Guitar,Pump Organ
Big Kenny   Vocals
Ethan Pilzer   Bass,Bass Guitar
Warren Hood   Fiddle
Raul "Nunie" Rubio   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Adam Shoenfeld   Electric Guitar
David Carroll   Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
John Rich   Vocals
John Ilewelyn Evans   Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Jerry Hollingsworth   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Roger Rabbit   Electric Guitar
Sean Raiford   Drums
Sean Raiford   Drums
Richard Bowden   Mandolin

Technical Credits

Kinky Friedman   Liner Notes
José Feliciano   Composer
Billy Joe Shaver   Composer,Producer
Jim DeMain   Mastering
Joe Gracey   Producer,Engineer
Eddy Shaver   Composer
Max Baca   Producer,Audio Production
Richard McLaurin   Engineer
Gabe Rhodes   Engineer
John Evans   Audio Production
Big & Rich   Audio Production
John Rich   Producer
John Ilewelyn Evans   Producer,Engineer
Rachel Kice   Paintings

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