If there were any justice in this state, Billy Joe Shaver's trademark denim western shirts would be just as iconic as Willie Nelson's braids and George Strait's doe-eyed stare. Now edging into his mid-'70s, outlaw-country stalwart Shaver is nearly 20 studio albums into a rough-and-tumble career that has seen him count Waylon Jennings, Dale Watson and Charlie Daniels, among many others, as colleagues. His best and best-known tracks, like "Live Forever" and "Georgia on a Fast Train," are frequent cover fodder for Texas country and Red Dirt artists, who mostly don't butcher those classics too terribly bad. Shaver returned to the limelight in 2007 after shooting a man who allegedly threatened him with a knife outside a bar near Waco. He was acquitted after a drawn-out court case, and put his version of the incident to music with the help of Nelson and his band in this year's sidesplitting but poignant "Whacko from Waco." True it is that Shaver is in the Houston area at least three or four times a year, but he's more than worth the price every single time.
Sat., Sept. 24, 2011