When Billy Joe Shaver first hit the country music scene, the year was 1973. 26 albums and 41 years later, and he's finally made it to the Top 20 of Billboard’s country album’s chart. Long In The Tooth, his first release in seven years, came in at #19.
Part of the reason behind the sudden commercial success could be the fact that Willie Nelson, and old friend, featured two of Billy Joe's songs on his Band of Brothers album. Nelson also sings on "Hard To Be An Outlaw," the opening track from Long In The Tooth.
The other part could be that country legends with long track records are finally getting Billboard love this year. Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton are both well known (and much beloved) names in country music. 2014 marked milestones for each of them as Nelson's Band of Brothers was his first #1 since his 1986 album The Promiseland. Dolly's Blue Smoke gave her her very first Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, coming in at #6.
It's nice to see legends finally getting their due - even if it has been a long time comin'.
Catch Billy Joe as he plays 10 shows over the next month at:
August 22 - Lubbock, TX - Blue Light
August 23 - Roscoe, TX - The Lumberyard
August 29 - Justin, TX - Mule Barn
September 6 - Canadian, TX - Stumblin' Goat
September 13 - Utopia, TX - UTOPIA FEST
September 18 - Little Rock, AR - Whitewater Tavern
September 20 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
September 21 - Bristol, TN - Bristol Rhythm & Roots
September 27 - Stafford, TX - The Redneck Country Club
September 28 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theater