LISTEN: Miranda Lambert Celebrates Billy Joe Shaver’s Legacy With ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal’ Cover

by Suzanne Halliburton

Miranda Lambert is paying homage to the late Billy Joe Shaver the best possible way a Texan knows to honor another Lone Star legend.

She’s singing one of his classics, one of those honky tonk pieces that usually requires a beer and a twirl around the dance floor to really appreciate its true worth. According to Lambert, she’s performed “I’m Just an Old Lump of Coal” since she was a teenager.

“Billy Joe’s words have inspired countless artists for decades, myself included,” Miranda Lambert wrote on Instagram. “I was singing his songs in honky tonks across Texas by the time I could drive. “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” was always one of my favorites to perform. I was honored when they asked me to record it for this project and join so many heroes to celebrate his legacy. This song is out now & full album is out Nov. 11th.

Give it a listen. Miranda Lambert definitely does this song justice.

Willie Nelson, George Strait Join Miranda Lambert in Tribute Album

A month ago, a couple of Texans announced a tribute album dedicated to all things Billy Joe Shaver. He died in October, 2020, so this album drops near the anniversary of his death. Shaver was a vital part of the Outlaw country music movement. But he’s probably known most for writing songs for some of the genre’s most noted performers, including Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.

It’s all why Charlie Sexton, a singer and featured guitarist, and Freddy Fletcher, a noted music producer, decided to put together a Billy Shaver tribute album. Fletcher worked with Shaver for 50 years.

The album features Miranda Lambert along with more superstars like George Strait and Willie Nelson. Edie Brickell and Ryan Bingham, the Yellowstone cast member, also contributed to the album. The title track is “Live Forever” with Willie Nelson and Lucinda Wilson. That song was released last month.

Miranda Lambert is one of several country music stars contributing to the Billy Joe Shaver tribute album. Shaver, seen here in a 2014 photo, died of a stroke in October, 2020. He was 81. (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music)

Shaver’s Song Has Gotten New Life in 2022

The Miranda Lambert contribution is a Shaver classic. He wrote and recorded “I”m Just an Old Lump of Coal,” releasing it in 1981. But John Anderson made it a popular country song. Anderson also recorded it in 1981, with the song reaching No. 4 on the country charts. Coincidentally, Jamey Johnson recorded the song this year for an Anderson tribute album. You can ever hear the tune in an odd place. It’s included in the Netflix comedy show Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special.

Besides sharing her Billy Joe Shaver song, Miranda Lambert also announced Monday that she was on her way to Las Vegas. She’s doing a residency there starting Sept. 23 at the Zappos theater inside the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. She’s calling the event Velvet Rodeo. And her dogs are coming with her.