Some of these old Texas singer/songwriters make it for the long haul; some don’t. Billy Joe Shaver came up through the ranks at the same time as the late, great Townes Van Zandt; in fact, they used to open for each other at the famous Old Quarter in Houston, back in the day.
Van Zandt’s rugged lifestyle choices killed him but Shaver, 70, has hung on and persevered. When you seen him on the Jinx stage Saturday, you’ll be looking at a survivor.
Shaver never had what you’d call a hit, but his 1973 debut Old Five and Dimers Like Me was considered one of the first “outlaw” country albums (“outlaw” being a loose translation of “I’m doing what I want and to hell with you if you don’t like it”). He has written some classic genre tunes including “I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train” and “I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday.”
It was, however old pal Waylon Jennings and his groundbreaking Honky Tonk Heroes album (also in ’73) that brought Shaver a lot of attention. All but one of the tunes on that album were Shaver originals.
In the 1990s, he and his guitarist son Eddy had a band together called Shaver. Eddy died in 2000, the same year Billy’s wife passed away, and the guy’s still on the road, making music, playing gigs and getting into the occasional scrap.
Once an outlaw, always an outlaw. Listen & learn: www.billyjoeshaver.com. At 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Jinx, 127 W. Congress St. Tickets $20 advance, $25 day of show.
Lead singer Lzzy (short for Elizabeth) Hale gives this Pennsylvania rock quartet a sort of Heart-meets-Evanescence feel. She's also the band's rhythm guitar player. The Halestorm single "I Get Off," perhaps understandably, has attracted a lot of attention (it reached the Top Ten on the American "Mainstream Rock" chart). "On that song," Lzzy says, "I reach outside of myself and explore sexuality. It also has this crazy metaphor of me getting off on the crowd getting off on me." This show finds them headlining a bill including Aranda (profiled in this issue) and Adelitas Way. Listen & learn: www.halestormrocks.com. At 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 at Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $12.
From Hilton Head Island comes an earnest four-piece rock outfit that not only covers R.E.M. exclusively, they’ve named themselves after the Athens boys’ first (and, in the eyes and ears of many, best) album. Murmur consists of Nate Shefsick on (slurred) vocals and guitar, John Bruner on drums, Kieron O’Grady playing bass, and guitarist extraordinaire Ben Russ. O’Grady promises the band does “a lot of the early stuff,” which makes us anxiously look forward to the next incarnation of R.E.M.-sh bands, Reckoning and Fables of the Reconstruction. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Wild Wing Cafe, 27 Barnard St.
This show has been CANCELED. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Shoreline Ballroom, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head. Tickets are $23 advance, $25 day of show.
The legendary blues pianist, singer and songwriter was 79 when he performed for the Savannah Jazz Festival in September; he's just celebrated Birthday No. 80. "If you say one thing about my style, it's going to be wrong," said the author "Parchman Farm," "Young Man Blues" and a host of other classic and oft-covered tunes. "Because it's a conglomeration of things. There are several things involved - classic jazz, the kind that swings, and a heavy blues influence. A lot of my vocals are definitely blues-permeated." Listen & learn: www.moseallison.com. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5 at the Jazz Corner, 1000 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head. Call (843) 842-8620 for reservations.