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Billy Joe Shaver is getting ready to record and release his first studio album in 7 years, according to the 74-year-old Outlaw country songwriter and performer. Shaver released a couple of live albums last year, Live At Billy Bob’s Texas and the Live from Austin, TX: Austin City Limits – August 14, 1984, but this will be the first album of new material since his 2007 predominantly Christian album, Everybody’s Brother.
“Iâ€™m doing my first studio album in seven or eight years and Iâ€™ll be doing that I think December first, second or something like that,” Shaver told the Fort Stockton Pioneer ahead of a show in Alpine, TX.Â “Hopefully getting it out in a couple of months. Itâ€™s all new too and differentâ€¦There are some political things. The songs are so different then whatâ€™s on the radio now. Itâ€™s either going to change things around or get kicked out. One or the other. Iâ€™m hoping that this here will, as a matter of fact I know it will, it’ll kick ass…it’s going to be a good one.”
Shaver, who got his big break in country music when Waylon Jennings’ breakout album Honky Tonk Heroes included all but one Shaver-written song, also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a little sabre rattling about the current state of country music.
“I feel like that Iâ€™m still doing the same thing I always did, it just got lost in the shuffle because all this new stuff came in. Thereâ€™s a lot of money behind these peopleâ€¦Itâ€™s just people trying to make money, thatâ€™s all it is and I canâ€™t begrudge anybody for trying to make money. We’re all trying to make a living and do the best we can.Â I feel that the art part of it just went out the window…but every once in awhile you will hear a good song. I canâ€™t say that itâ€™s all bad, itâ€™s not. Itâ€™s just most of itâ€™s bad…It’s kind of gotten way out of hand right now I think, but the solid foundation is still there.”
Billy Joe Shaver has had a tumultuous last 7 years. After coming out of a period where his wife, his son and guitar player Eddy, and his mother all passed away in a span of 2 years, Shaver battled a bad shoulder injury, and charges stemming from a shooting at the Papa Joe’s bar near Waco in 2007 that resulted in an assault trial against the songwriter, and a song chronicling the event by Dale Watson called “Where Do You Want It?” Shaver was eventually acquitted when it was found he acted in self-defense, with help from character witnesses Willie Nelson and Robert Duvall.
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