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Tramp on Your Street

31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 10, 1993
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Tramp on Your Street + Long in the Tooth + Honky Tonk Heroes
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Editorial Reviews

Billy Joe Shaver has never had a hit of his own, but he's written plenty of hits for others (John Anderson's "Old Chunk of Coal," Tom T. Hall's "Old Five and Dimers," Bobby Bare's "Ride Me Down Easy"), and he's credited for launching the "Outlaw Country" movement by writing every song but one on Waylon Jennings's 1973 album, Honky Tonk Heroes. Shaver's own albums, though, are highly prized among critics and his fellow musicians, and both those camps celebrated the release of only his second album in 11 years, 1996's Tramp on Your Street. Waylon Jennings helps out his old pal on the autobiographical "Heart of Texas" and on "Oklahoma Wind," which manages to evoke the tragedy of the American Indian without getting all sentimental. Brother Phelps adds hillbilly harmonies to two songs. Best of all is the title song, a true story about a 10-year-old Billy Joe Shaver walking 10 miles to hear Hank Williams sing at the Wonder Bread bakery in Corsicana, Texas. The song blossoms, however, into a universal anthem about the importance of culture to the poorest and most desperate among us. --Geoffrey Himes

1. Heart of Texas
2. Oklahoma Wind
3. Georgia on a Fast Train
4. Live Forever
5. If I Give My Soul
6. Tramp on Your Street
7. K. A. N. D., Corsicana, Texas
8. Good 'Ol U.S.A.
9. The Hottest Thing in Town
10. When the Fallen Angels Fly
11. Take a Chance on Romance
12. Old Chunk of Coal
13. I Want Some More followed by Tenntex Tear Down

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Volcano
  • ASIN: B00000099F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dino on August 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's well documented that Billy Joe Shaver wrote nine songs (including the title track) from Waylon Jennings' 1973 album Honky Tonk Heroes. Shaver's songwriting is in the very top bracket - he's written some of the most memorable, hardest-hitting country songs in the history of the music. As a solo artist or as frontman for his group, he has failed to reach great heights of commercial success; partly because he doesn't fit the image required to make it big in the Billboard country chart, and also because great though his songs are, they can't all be termed radio-friendly. Let's forget the pursuit of fame (which was never a priority for Shaver anyway) and concentrate on his music: uncomromising rock-edged country blues, vocals spat out with equal parts venom and humour and the startling guitar work of Billy Joe's son Eddy, who tragically passed away in December 2000, the victim of the temptations that the life of a no-frills travelling band will provide. Tramp On Your Street was Billy Joe's return to recording in the early 90s and he wisely mixed some of his own classics including I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal and Georgia On A Fast Train, hits for John Anderson and Johnny Cash respectively, with equally resonant new songs, standout tracks being rocking The Hottest Thing In Town and the beautiful ballad Live Forever. Shaver continued to record throughout the 90s and into the 2000s until Eddy Shaver's death; Billy Joe is touring with Kinky Friedman at the time of this review. Let's hope that his son's death doesn't prematurely end the recording career of the greatest of the original 70s outlaws.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By N. D. A. Grie on April 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm working my way backward in time in discovering the rich musical legacy of father and son Billy Joe and Eddie Shaver. I started with 2000's The Earth Rolls On, another 5-star recording, but this one, from 1993, is even a little better. This kind of music carries on the authentic legacy of rock 'n roll and western swing in a way that contemporary pop and country music absolutely do not. The musical licks are sharp, the vocals full-throated (with some help from Waylon Jennings) and the words always heartfelt and often funny. Very rarely does an artist deliver six tunes in a row as powerful as Tracks 1-6 here. One of my favorites is #3, Georgia on a Fast Train ("Got a good Christian raisin' and a 8th grade education, ain't no need y'all a treatin' me this way"). Eddie's guitar licks come so fast that Billy Joe has to caution him, "Aw, slow down, Eddie" (or is it "throw down"?). I also especially like #5, If I Give My Soul, an autobiographical account in which Billy Joe wonders if he can save his marriage by giving his soul to Jesus. (In reality, he did both.) Track 7, KAND Corsicana, Texas, is a novelty item, a seemingly authentic 1944 radio announcement of the beginning of the D-Day invasion followed by a quick prayer for our troops, and right into Track 8, Good Ol' USA. I first listened to this CD as anti-US demonstrations were sweeping the world, and our troops were preparing for another invasion, and the cumulative weight of this music made me want it to be heard and understood by all our enemies who haven't got a clue what this country is about. Naive, maybe, but this CD is a piece of bedrock American culture that can make us all proud. Billy Joe, you are a national treasure.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B K Fisher on February 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Billy Joe has been penning country gold since the 60's. He has quietly become the finest honky-tonk songwriter of our time. His latest creation, the band "Shaver" features his son Eddy on guitar. Eddy Shaver is one of the best young country pickers in the business. Listen to him "throw down" as Billy Joe urges on "Georgia On a Fast Train.' His twelve-string work on the ballad "Live Forever", backed by vocals from the Kentucky Headhunters' Doug and Ricky Lee Phelps will charm you. Billy Joe welcomes the vocals of his good friend Waylon Jennings throughout this record. "Tramp On Your Street" is always perched at the top of my CD stack. The title cut is a haunting tribute to his life as a honky-tonk hero. The lack of airplay, not to mention a Grammy nod illustrates just what is wrong with country radio, and the music industry in general. Best country record I've ever heard.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John B. Taylor on May 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Thank the good Lord that Billy Joe Shaver came into my life around 1993! The video for 'Georgia On A Fast Train' was just so cool, with this raspy voiced elder statesman dispensing hard earned wisdom amidst the blazing guitar of a long haired virtuoso. The cute girlfriend (Eddy's, I'd suppose he he) dancing at the shack wasn't too bad either! Next, it was the derriere kicking video for 'Hottest Thing In Town' that caught my eyes and ears. It again featured the ringing guitar of the one I had come to know as Billy Joe's son, Eddy Shaver.
I was indeed enthralled by this record and had to explore why this Billy Joe dude is called a 'living legend'. This record is outstanding, and kicks off with two duets with Waylon Jennings. It seemed fitting that Billy's resurgent record would open with Waylon's assistance, as it was Billy's muse that produced the great songs that became Jenning's 'Honky Tonk Heroes' in 1973 and introduced Billy to the world. No small feat for the 'unknown writer' at the time, seeing as though it is considered the opening salvo of the 'outlaw movement'.
I was very pleased to hear Billy's "Old Chunk of Coal" after being familiar with John Anderson's version. Billy's version carries more emotional weight as he imbues the song with first person emotion; indeed, the song was orginally written in the late 1970s when Billy decided to forgo wine and drink with the help of his good Lord. I've since found out that the legend himself, Johnny Cash recorded the song in the late 70s as well. 'Good Ol' USA' is a unique piece, basically melding the seemingly disparate elements of 'music hall' with the wisdom of a honky tonk bard.
The two duets with Brother Phelps are excellent and make you wonder if the chief 'Headhunter' is still on the prowl!
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