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From the first snarling, rough-hewn notes of Eddy Shaver's electric guitar on "Thunderbird," the opening cut on the excellent new ELECTRIC SHAVER, you know you've wandered onto dangerous turf. Then Eddy's dad, the peerless songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, comes in moaning a bluesy lament, informing us "I'm livin' with a stranger now /The girl I knew got away somehow." Forcefully describing lost love, lost time, and a life that now seems empty, the elder Shaver hooks you into a narrative that doesn't falter over the next 11 cuts. Shaver, the group, mixes hard country, honky-tonk, and blues with effortless ease in shaping its own brand of alternative country, and Billy Joe comes up with one gem of a song after another. Each one takes a hard, uncompromising, unsentimental look at the winners and losers among us, and why they are the way they are. "Try and Try Again," "You Wouldn't Know Love," "People and Their Problems" -- these aren't songs, really, so much as profound treatises on love and friendship brought to vivid life by a bunch of tough-minded, no-b.s. musicians. This one's destined for the year-end best-of lists. And Billy Joe Shaver ought to be declared a national treasure.
|Label:||New West Records|
Performance CreditsShaver Primary Artist
Ray Kennedy Dobro,Mandolin,Percussion,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Tremolo
Billy Joe Shaver Vocals
Mickey Raphael Harmonica,Bass Harmonica
David Crockett Percussion,Drums
Jim Hoke Accordion
Dennis Morgan Background Vocals
Michael Smotherman Background Vocals
Eddy Shaver Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Slide Guitar,MIDI Guitar,Tremolo,Resonator
Tom Littlefield Background Vocals
Keith Christopher Bass
Damon Gray Background Vocals
Danny Flowers Background Vocals
Technical CreditsRay Kennedy Producer,Engineer
Kinky Friedman Liner Notes
Cameron Strang Producer