Went to see Billy Joe Shaver at the Bull Run on Friday, 12/7. He had a drummer, guitarist, and bassist with him and he strummed a few chords, but admitted that he couldn't play much because of shoulder pain. I ran into him downstairs before the show and chatted a bit, a wonderful guy.
They played a long show and crammed in an incredible number of songs, sometimes jamming out on them a bit and sometimes compressing a bunch together in that "I've got too many hits to cover" way. He also did some songs in a rap, talking-blues kind of style when the spirit moved him to cover them and he knew the band didn't have them down. They didn't officially take a set break but did in essence, when they did the first half of a take-no-prisoners version of Thunderbird, and then left the stage to the drummer. He played one of the best drum solos I've heard, never leaving the groove of Thunderbird but making some great sounds from damping his toms with his elbows and feet, and rocking out on his tablas, which he'd fastened to the side of his kit and played excellently while keeping up the beat with his feet on the bass drum and high-hat ... great stuff. Then the band came back out and told us some more about those joyful but ominous times when drinking cheap wine was a lot of fun.
Billy Joe held up well for an older guy and had the almost-full house roaring. I hope he comes back to Massachusetts soon!