Friday To-Do: Billy Joe Shaver | Rock Candy

Friday To-Do: Billy Joe Shaver

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BILLY JOE SHAVER
8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.

He's a hero to your heroes — Willie Nelson called him maybe the best songwriter alive today and Bob Dylan name-checked him on his last album — and one of the last living connections to the outlaw country movement. More bona fides: He wrote nearly every one of the songs on Waylon Jennings' seminal “Honky Tonk Heroes,” and just about every song on his debut, “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” (“I've Been to Georgia on a Fast Train,” anyone?) is a classic. Which is not to say that Shaver's genius ended in the '70s. He's been remarkably prolific of late, releasing a new album at least every two years since 1993. He's had plenty of material to draw from. Even beyond his young life, where he severed two fingers in a sawmill accident, spent time homeless, served in the Navy and worked as a bronco buster, the man has a surfeit of experience to mine. He lost his wife and his mother within a month of each other in 1999; saw his only son die of an overdose in 2000 and suffered, himself, a heart attack onstage a year later. But today, at 70, he's alive and well, still on the road, still preaching sin and redemption. You'd be dumb to miss this one.

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