Bonus Tracks

BILLY JOE SHAVER

Restless Wind: The Legendary Billy Joe Shaver 1973-1987 (Razor & Tie) Like so many of these old Texas codgers, Waco's Billy Joe Shaver has a back catalogue so outta print that it's just a memory now. But given his recent success on Zoo with Tramp on Your Street and Unshaven, it's definitely time for the vault to creek open, particularly since it was unlocked during sessions for the two aforementioned albums. These are the versions and songs that got Kris, Waylon, Willie and all those other outlaws interested in the first place. It takes but one listen to figure out why. -- Raoul Hernandez

GEYER

Plaid

Geyer's recordings have that same sort of don't-overdo-it charm of the old Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom tapes, but that's not to say he has the same wide-eyed approach to songwriting. His songs don't try to jump out and take over your ears; they simply present themselves, bittersweet but not too bitter or too sweet, and offer themselves up to be enjoyed. Stylewise, Geyer straddles the pop/folk fence quite nicely, with the weights on his bar leaning heavily toward the pop side. (This tape was recorded in 1993 and re-released in 1995.) -- Ken Lieck THE FOREST JOURDAN BAND

(Fat Kitty) Jourdan attacks his R&B lyrics with throaty soulfulness while David Abeyta's guitar work burns hot and keeps the groove in funkier pieces like "Holding Hands." This is good, as the sound on this debut is exceedingly spare, thus accentuating the chemistry between Jourdan and Abeyta. Overall, the band effortlessly feathers folk over R&B, with the results being a unique blend of the two such as the ballad "Nobody Knows My Baby." Those who study voice should put this CD on the booklist. -- Stephen McGuire

STRETCH WILLIAMS

Beyond the Storm

For Stretch Williams, competence is its own reward. It means guests Tommy Shannon, Keith Ferguson, Gary Primich, the Texana Dames, and original Elvis drummer D.J. Fontana turn up to play on his record, which in turn means that this record isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. -- Chris Gray

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