Billy Joe Shaver Storyteller: Live At The Bluebird 1992

As the author of many of the outlaw country movement’s signature songs — as done by Waylon, Willie and others — Billy Joe Shaver has often received short shrift as a performer in his own right. That seemed on the verge of changing at the time of this "unplugged” recording at Nashville’s Bluebird Café, featuring the blistering lead guitar of son Eddy, who would sadly die from a heroin overdose several years later. But this was the moment when Shaver had everything going his way, and the overall tone of this album radiates that feeling. One by one, Shaver confidently trots out the classics — "Georgia On A Fast Train,” "Willy The Wandering Gypsy,” "Honky Tonk Heroes” — adding some typically hilarious down-home commentary in between. While Shaver may not ultimately achieve a spot in the pantheon with those who made his songs famous, Storyteller makes a strong case as to why he should. It’s hard to imagine what the last 35 years of country music would have been like without him. (Sugar Hill)