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Tramp On Your Street

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Album Review

Billy Joe Shaver's first recording in six years is a stunner. Partnering with his guitar-slinging son, Eddy, Tramp on Your Street is a rollicking yet intimate ride through the world Billy Joe-style. There are smoking country rockers that are brazen, raw, and in-your-face, such as the sizzling remake of "Been to Georgia on a Fast Train" (which is now the definitive version), "The Hottest Thing in Town," "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal," and the blues-rock of "I Want Some More/TennTex Tear Down." There is the restless Bob Wills swing of "Good Old U.S.A." and the shuffling Texas stroll of "If I Give My Soul." And of course, in the title track, "When Fallen Angels Fly," and the Louvin Brothers-inspired "I'm Gonna Live Forever," there are the searing, completely naked lyrics of repentance, deliverance, and doubt that have been a part of Shaver's music form the beginning. Without them, the center would be missing. The big question for most is: Can Billy Joe rock at his age? The answer is that with Eddy beside him turning it up, he can not only rock, he can roll too. This is a partnership based on respect, tough love, and iconoclastic musical ideals. It's deep in the roots of the sill and even deeper in the Shavers' blood. Tramp on Your Street is a monumental return to recording for Billy Joe Shaver and a triumph of Eddy's musical direction and six-string skill.


Born: 16 August 1939 in Corsicana, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Billy Joe Shaver never became a household name, but his songs -- including "Good Christian Soldier," "Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me," and "I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train" -- became country standards during the '70s and his reputation among musicians and critics didn't diminish in the ensuing decades. One of the best synopses of Shaver's upbringing is his own song "I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train." When he sings, "My grandma's old-age pension is the reason that I'm standing here today," he...
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Tramp On Your Street, Billy Joe Shaver
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