Billy Joe Shaver
Storyteller (Sugar Hill)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Sept. 7, 2007
Billy Joe ShaverStoryteller (Sugar Hill)
There have been other live recordings of Billy Joe Shaver, but none spotlight the magic of his compositions the way Storyteller does. Recorded January 1992 at Nashville's songwriters' shrine, the Bluebird Cafe, it's a typically loose-limbed acoustic affair with Billy Joe accompanied by his son Eddy on fiery lead guitar and Keith Christopher on bass. Shaver's his typical good ol' self between songs, flirting with his then-ex-wife, Brenda, who's sitting front and center, recalling his first visit to NYC, and telling Willie Nelson jokes. The song selection is a near-perfect representation of his craft as a poet, from the rumbling "Georgia on a Fast Train" and sweetly swinging "Old Chunk of Coal" to a reverent reading of "Live Forever." Storyteller captures one night long ago that's sure to be enjoyed for years to come.