Margo Price & Joshua Hedley Team Up to Cover ‘Ragged Old Truck’ for Billy Joe Shaver Tribute Album

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Billy Joe Shaver was a Texas-born songwriter who had a huge impact on country music as a whole. He wrote most of Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes. That album would go on to be one of the driving forces behind the popularity of Outlaw Country in the 70s and 80s. However, Shaver didn’t just write songs that shaped genre history. His plainspoken poetry still has the ability to move and inspire those who are ready to listen.  Margo Price said that “Ragged Old Truck” might have saved her life.

So, when it came time to choose a song for Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver, it was a no-brainer for Margo Price. She teamed up with Joshua Hedley for a killer cover of “Ragged Old Truck” check it out below.

Margo Price took this Shaver classic and made it her own. She swapped some lyrics here and there but the spirit of the song remains the same. There’s a swagger to her vocal delivery that makes this just as believable coming from Price as it did coming from Billy Joe. Hedley shares vocal duties with Price during the chorus to give things a little more depth.  

Margo Price on “Ragged Old Truck”

In a press release, Margo Price recounted the first time she met Billy Joe Shaver. “I met Billy in a dusty parking lot outside of Luck, Texas,” she recalls. “I was drinking straight out of a bottle of Wild Turkey and he asked me for a pull.”

Then, she was able to tell the legend what his music meant to her. “We talked for a long time about his songs. I told him my favorites were ‘Black Rose’ and ‘Ragged Old Truck’ and I said ‘that second one might have saved my life.’ I was in a deep depression when I first heard that song and it pulled me out. He put his hand – minus a few fingers – on my shoulder and said, ‘Me too, darlin’. Me too.”

“Ragged Old Truck”

Billy Joe Shaver included “Ragged Old Truck” in his 1981 album I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal… But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday. You’ll also find it on The Complete Columbia Recordings ’81-’87 (2014) and The Essential Billy Joe Shaver (2015). However, Shaver wasn’t the first artist to cut this classic.

Johnny Paycheck included it on his 1980 album Everybody’s Got a Family, Meet Mine.

You can hear Billy Joe Shaver play the song after telling the story behind it in the video below. He said he wrote this song after he and his wife got into a huge fight in the mid-60s. In this clip, you’ll see Shaver’s humor shine alongside his songwriting.

Live Forever Tracklist

Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver drops on November 11th via New West Records/Pedernales Records. Pre-order your copy today.

  1. Live Forever – Willie Nelson w/ Lucinda Williams
  2. Ride Me Down Easy – Ryan Bingham w/ Nikki Lane
  3. Old Five and Dimers Like Me – Rodney Crowell
  4. I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal – Miranda Lambert
  5. I Couldn’t Be Me Without You – Edie Brickell
  6. You Asked Me To – Nathaniel Rateliff
  7. Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me – George Strait
  8. Honky Tonk Heroes – Amanda Shires
  9. Ain’t No God in Mexico – Steve Earle
  10. Ragged Old Truck – Margo Price
  11. Georgia on a Fast Train – Willie Nelson
  12. Tramp on Your Street – Allison Russell