As a legend in the outlaw country world, Billy Joe Shaver lives and breathes country music. Over the course of his 43-year career, Shaver has released numerous hit albums, including his debut album Old Five and Dimers Like Me, which has become a staple in the outlaw country genre.
In addition to his work as a recording artist, Shaver has penned a countless number of songs for other popular country artists. Some of the many artists who have recorded Shaver’s songs over the years include Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Patty Loveless.
Since Shaver has been a staple in the industry for years, many have been curious to know his thoughts on today’s country music. Curiosity rose even more when Shaver released a duet with Willie Nelson in 2014 called “Hard To Be An Outlaw,” which seems to serve as a jab at modern country artists.
In an interview with the San Antonio Current, Shaver finally shared his opinions on today’s country music, and he didn’t hold anything back:
“A lot of these guys who get real popular, they’re good looking and all…And they have such a fan base that they sell a bunch of records. And they get to thinking that they can write good songs, but [the songs] just really aren’t. I guess the best way to put it is: if the boot fits, wear it. If somebody gets offended by that, then they’re the ones I was aiming at.”
Shaver admitted that he doesn’t have a problem with all modern country artists, just those who don’t write or pick what he considers to be good songs. He believes the key to producing good country music is in the songwriting, but feels many of today’s artists don’t record well-written songs.
“I know some of these guys write really good songs, and some of them have slumped a little bit,” he said. “But for the most part, the guys who write good always write good. It just seems like people haven’t been picking their songs.“
As for Shaver, he plans to release more of the same high-quality material that fans have come to expect from him, saying he has “new things coming out” soon.
Until Shaver releases some new music, enjoy listening to him perform his classic song, “Live Forever,” in the video below.
What are your thoughts on Shaver’s opinions of modern country music?
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