The band Shaver was built on the intersection of two stories, two familial stories, the first being the cult legend of Billy Joe Shaver, a hard-living outlaw Texas country singer and songwriter whose best songs were a fair step past brilliant, and the second being the story of his son Eddy Shaver, a rising Texas guitar slinger who had mentored with Dickey Betts and had already played on albums by Waylon Jennings, Guy Clark, and Willie Nelson and toured as lead guitarist with Dwight Yoakam. The younger Shaver brought an edgy, raw energy to his father's already impressive songs, and together as the band Shaver, they recorded five albums of wonderful Texas outlaw country, beginning with 1993's Tramp on Your Street. This was honky tonk for a modern era, and perhaps a little ahead of its time (or behind, depending on one's point of view). It brought the elder Shaver new and younger fans, though, and the future looked bright when Eddy, hardly a stranger to the hard-living lifestyle that befell his father, died on December 31, 2000 of a heroin overdose, having just scheduled studio time to begin recording his first solo album. This set collects key tracks from the five albums tracked under the name Shaver, and includes the classics "Georgia on a Fast Train" (this re-recorded version immediately became the definitive one when it was released), "Tramp on Your Street," and "My Mother's Name Is Victory," all of which show Billie Joe's autobiographical, spiritual, philosophical, and cowboy-wise songwriting genius, amended by Eddy's sharp, perfectly placed guitar playing. It's modern honky tonk, half in the tradition, half moving forward, with one foot in Saturday night and the other in Sunday morning, and Shaver's legacy forms arguably the last great statement of the original outlaw country movement.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett