Billy Joe Shaver Socially-Distanced Tribute Concert To Take Place in Texas

by Madison Miller
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Outlaw country music artist and songwriter, Billy Joe Shaver, who died on October 28 from a stroke, will have different artists gathering to perform a tribute in his honor.

He wrote for Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. 10 years ago, Willie Nelson graced him the title, “the greatest living songwriter.”

The concert will happen on Nov. 22 in Austin, Texas, at the Long Center. The event, “The Songs I Left Behind: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver,” will be held outdoors.

Some artists that will be performing include Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Dale Watson, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Nikki Lane, Shakey Graves, and Monte Warden.

Charlie Sexton will be leading the band and arranging the event. Also, there is talk also of special guests appearing.

There will be a limited number of guests able to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, there will be square plots on the lawn to help monitor social distancing.

“The concert is scheduled for 2:00 pm. For more information and tickets, visit The Long Center website. At the moment there is no information about plans to stream or capture the event for those who can’t attend, but stay tuned if this information becomes available,” according to SavingCountryMusic.com.

An Outlaw Legend

Shaver is most known as the songwriter behind Waylon Jennings’ 1973 album “Honky Tonk Heroes.”

Beyond just writing about the outlaw lifestyle, he also lived it pretty vicariously.

“In 2007, he was charged with shooting a man in the face at a bar near his home in Waco. The trial drew friends including Nelson and the actor Robert Duvall in support of Shaver, who was ultimately found not guilty and went on to turn the ordeal into a song, “Wacko From Waco,” according to Rolling Stone.

Despite some difficulties getting into the industry with his outlaw cowboy-country songs, he ended up with an alliance in Waylon Jennings. He wrote nine out of the 10 tracks on his “Honky Tonk Heroes” album.

The CMAs earlier this month failed to mention Shaver’s name in order to memorialize him. Fans expressed disappointment.

Country artist Jason Isbell and his wife even went as far as returning their lifetime membership cards from the CMAs. He is a reflection of many people continuing to grieve the songwriter’s death.

Outsider.com