KyraAs mentioned in the article, Billy Joe Shaver is a country singer and songwriter. His first breakthrough came in 1973 when Waylon Jennings recorded an album composed of almost all Shaver’s songs. Also in 1973, his own debut album, “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” was produced by Kristofferson. The song “Black Rose” is one of the more popular songs from that album. A guitar introduces “Black Rose” as Shaver starts singing, “Way down in Virginia amongst the tall grown sugar canes”. Although the tempo picks up speed as the song continues on, Shaver’s tone stays consistent throughout. The next artist the article mentioned is Hank Williams, who is an American singer-songwriter. Williams’ music is known to be very sincere and his lyrics to have a genuine meaning behind it. For his song, “Cold, Cold Heart”, he has his second appearance on The Kate Smith Evening Hour where he performed that number with his band. He wrote this song after him and his wife got into an argument and she wouldn’t let him kiss her. This song has a catchy and upbeat tune which I thought was an interesting choice, especially because this song is about the trouble him and his wife are experiencing. The last artist the article mentions is Willie Nelson, an American musician. Arguably one of his most famous songs is, “Always On My Mind” that reached the Billboard number one country album of the year in 1982. Nelson’s slow tune is accompanied by guitars throughout the entire song as he tells a story about how a man admits he didn’t always do the things he should have to show appreciation for his significant other.
I thought that the description of the intertwining of the old school country music and the up and coming artists was interesting and really showed why there was a drastic change within the country music industry. Because of the new sounds being produced there was talk about the impact that movements such as the OUtlaw Country movement were having on the culture of country music. The first song I listened to was Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever”. The intro beat had a mix of acoustic string instruments, electric guitar, and drums to create a sad yet memorial type song. The song was about him living forever and that even once’s he’s past he’ll still be around. I also listened to Willie Nelson’s song “Always on my mind”. I’ve heard this song from when I was really young and it always hits a part of me that makes me really emotional. The use of soft piano keys and slow strumming of the guitar really accents the true meaning of the lyrics. Finally I listened to Jim Reeves, who was one of the country icons that Streissguth wrote about in his books. I listened to Reeves’ song “ Put your sweet lips a little closer”. It wasn’t as much of a country song, it seemed more like a ballad because of the use of drums and even a xylophone. His tone of voice could seem country by the way he’d run on notes more than others and the variety of how deep his voice was throughout the lines.
This article was Outlaw, and country music in general, was interesting to me because it showed country music in a different light as it evolved through new and modern artists. The first artist I listened to was Kris Kristofferson and his song, “Highwayman”. This song, as soon as it starts off, gives a completely different vibe than traditional country music. An electric guitar kicks off the tune with a complex “bassy” sounding riff followed by a slow yet catchy melody backed by a flute and synthesizers. This song is about surviving and coming back despite any hardship thrown in the way as seen through lines like “But I am still alive,” and “And I’ll be back again, and again...”. The next song I listened to was “American Remains” by Waylong Jennings. This song is a collaboration with other prominent country artists at the time like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and sounds a little more like the old country tunes. This song is slow and carries a low feeling tune with a prominent bass line backing stretched out and deep vocals. Talking about different groups of people living in the US, from Indians to Midwest farmers, and their challenges in life, this song refers to them all as “heroes of the homeland,” saying that they will always be a part of the country with the line “We’ll ride again,”. The final song I chose is Willie Nelson’s “Pancho and Lefty” which talks about two men in the south and how one died in his efforts and how the other didn’t die but was living poor and alone. I first choose this song because the intro sounded very unique, with an upbeat piano and drum intro that reminded me almost of a dance song, but after it faded into the mid tempo very country melody, I could tell that it was a true country song.
The first artist I listened to was Waylon Jennings. I think that a very interesting fact about him is how he gave up his airplane seat last minute for another artist, J.P. Richardson. The flight took off despite the cold and dreary weather, and the plane crashed in a cornfield near Mason City, Iowa. Had Jennings been on the flight, he would have died too. I listened to his song “Good Hearted Woman”, which is about a woman who loves a wicked man. The lyrics say that the man spends his times partying (and possibly has an affair), but the woman loves him anyway. It is clear that either the woman is either confused by her husbands ways, or she doesn’t know what is going on, but she still tries her best to love him anyway. The second artist I listened to was George Jones, who was a country singer and songwriter. His song “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” is a slower song with a gentle beat in the background and soft guitar. Harmonica can also be heard when listening carefully, and there are some strings too. I like this song because I can hear the emotion behind the words and singing, and the song constantly references other country artists and songs. Jones is basically asking who is going to step up and fill in for all of these great artists like Elvis and Johnny Cash. The third artist I listened to was Charlie Rich. His song, “Rollin’ With the Flow”, is a bit different from other songs, and it has a slightly more of a pop vibe. The strings are much more prominent, and there are also backup singers. This song is about “going with the flow”, as the song’s title suggests. Rich sings that he’s just living his life and says that “I ain’t ever growing old”, which means that he’s not concerned about becoming older as is just enjoying everything.
I think it’s interesting that Shaver is still able to perform and make money after shooting someone in the jaw for such a simple criticism. The reaction he had to the incident was totally uncalled for. However, I suppose that with good music, most things go unnoticed even if it shouldn’t. The description of the change in country music was very interesting. The first song I listened to was by Billy Joe Shaver. I listened to Shaver’s song “Wacko from Waco,” which was the song he wrote about after shooting the guy in the jaw. This song is very upbeat, and makes you want to get up and dance to it. However, it seems like Shaver is making himself sound like the victim in this situation, saying “I don’t start fights, I finish fights.” The next song I listened to was Willie Nelson’s “Always on my Mind.” A much slower song, the use of the piano really lets the emotions of longing and love shine through. It is clear from the very beginning of the song that “Always on my Mind” has a very different feel than “Wacko from Waco.” I really enjoyed listening to this song because of the passion that can be heard both through the instruments and Nelson’s voice. The last song I listened to was “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. This song was much like “Always on my Mind.” The beat was a lot slower than “Wacko from Waco,” however, the beat begins to pick up and the music gets louder around the chorus of the song. The variation of loudness pulls the listener in, waiting for what’s next to come.
ChloeI thought it was interesting that the article went in how country music was viewed and Shaver’s take on country music. I was surprised that the article started off with a story about the singer shooting someone with a gun. This inspired me to listen to “Wacko from Waco” by Billy Joe Shaver. The vocals have a very typical country sound, along with lyrics that tell a story. Similar to Hank Williams, this song is Shaver singing about an event he has actually experienced himself. The song talks about how he shot a man, but takes on an upbeat prideful tone throughout the song. Rather than it being a remorseful song he is confident in his past action and prides himself in his strength and courage, while also admitting that he does act like a “wacko” at times. There is a solid drum beat with a guitar clearly heard throughout the song. Overall the song tells a weird story, but includes prominent country elements.
The first song that I listened to was “Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain” by Willie Nelson. This song was about Nelson’s lover that died and all he is left with are the memories of her. He sings “love is like a dying ember, only memories remain, through the ages ill remember, blue eyes crying’ in the rain.” Basically he is saying that every time it rains, he sees her blue eyes, meaning that every time it rains it reminds him of the memories that they shared. The tune of the song is rather upbeat which is ironic for how sad the lyrics are and it has that country twang to it as well. The next song that I listened to was “For the Good Times” by Kris Kristofferson. In this song he is conforming a woman and telling her that he will always be there for her. He tells her “if you ever find you need me, don’t say a word about tomorrow or forever.” He’s telling her that they need to live in the moment and she can be sad when they are no longer together. The tune of the song is relatively simple, it’s just Kristofferson playing the guitar. It has a slow and melancholy feel to it. The song last song I listed to was “hurt” by Johnny Cash. This song is basically about Cash’s downward spiral and how his life has gone downhill. It was one of the last songs he ever recorded before he died and it was one of, if not, his most famous songs. The lyrics are very powerful and the vibe of the song matches the lyrics well.
The first song I will discuss is “I’ve always been crazy” by Waylon Jennings. Some lyrics really resonated with me was “I can't say I'm proud of all of the things that I've done, But I can say I've never intentionally hurt anyone.” Often times, there is a sense of masculinity that is required to live in the South; most often it includes violence. Maybe he was merely trying to conform to society’s standards, but he took it too far. I felt like so many times musicians are usually one step ahead of the curve, and the understanding of their music often doesn’t come until later in history; “I've always been different with one foot over the line / Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind.” The second song I chose was “Mamma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” by Willie Nelson. Once again, I feel like this singer is trying to conform to the social norm of masculinity by not showing vulernability. However, in the process of doing that, he ends up distancing himself from the ones he loves: “Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys / 'Cause they'll never stay home and they're always alone / Even with someone they love.” I think that in the south, the gender roles are still very prominent which can lead to this mutual feelings of lonlieness from all.
The article is about 3 men, Waylon, Willie, and Kris. The lineup of these men “marked an important moment of intersection between country music’s elder statesmen, clean-cut stalwarts of the Nashville Sound like Hank Snow and Roy Acuff, and its up-and-coming new school” which goes to shows their importance in the time of country music. “Love is the Way” is a song by The Highwaymen which included Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. The song begins with an instrumental introduction from the guitar. The voices of the four men create a dynamic that is like none other because of their distinct voices. The lyrics indicate their everlasting love for God and their religion. Through lyrics that say “splendor of God’s holy vision,” and also the repetition of the line “God is the reason and love is the way” demonstrates a strong biblical illusion.
The first song I listened to was “Satan Is Real” by The Louvin Brothers. To say it is a strange song would be an understatement. From the chorus of “Satan is real, working in spirit / You can see him and hear him in this world every day / Satan is real, working with power / He can tempt you and lead you astray” to the nearly two-minute monologue in the middle of the song, “Satan Is Real” conjures an image of a flaming, manipulative devil while also strongly reinforcing traditional religious values. Its beat and lyrics bear resemblance to a hymn in much the same way that the song’s short speech sounds similar to a homily. The next song I listened to was Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind,” a country love ballad about a run-down relationship. Nelson sings of his faults, what he should have done and what he could have done, making promises to change and asking for a second chance. The background instruments of piano, soft drums, and guitar give the song a slow, soaring beat while still keeping a distinct country twang. The last song I listened to was “The Last Cowboy Song” by The Highwaymen (Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings). The song, as the title implies, speaks of a “cowboy” figure seemingly present in every aspect of stereotypical American history: “He blazed the trail with Lewis and Clark, / And eyeball to eyeball, old Wyatt backed down. / He stood shoulder to shoulder with Travis in Texas. / And rode with the Seventh when Custer went down.” Interestingly, while the song is reminiscent of a classic American ballad, the lyrics by themselves read like a poem. In fact, Johnny Cash at one point reads a verse of the song while the other members quietly sing the chorus. Much like “Always On My Mind,” the lyrics are matched by the background instruments, a slow guitar resonating like the song’s heartbeat.
The song that I listened to was “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson. When I first heard this song, I immediately recognized the song because of the chorus. After looking the song up, I remembered seeing it in a Volkswagen commercial, which uses the song’s lyrics literally. The song uses the meaning of the road to show how much Nelson enjoyed going on tours and performing in front of thousands of people. He refers to his band as gypsies because of their nomadic ways. Nelson says that the road is the way for, showing that love he has for music. The whole song is a overall chill song that emphasizes to enjoy life with the people that you love.
JonahThe reading was very interesting on how Billie Joe Shaver approached situations. He would acknowledge his pats actions and make his fans feel it, which I think every musician strives for. It was also interesting to read about Outlaw and how the book depicts these music icons. I listened to Bandera by Willie Nelson and Drinking and Dreaming by Waylon Jenning, and Bandera is a tune without lyrics but still finds a way to be without doubt country. Drinking and Dreaming is a little different it has a pop aspect to it with the upbeat tune but the lyrics are country, about the love he has for this girl.
First I listened to Billy Joe Shaver’s “Wacko from waco.” The song is about one of Shaver’s experiences in a bar. In that scene he describes there is a man who tried to shoot him in a bar, but shaver shot him first. In the lyrics Shaver makes it a point to say that he does not start fights, but finishes them. He finishes this fight with a bullet to the other mans jaw, and he finishes the song with a warning not to mess with him. When reading about this song in Will Stephenson’s article I was fairly disturbed. As the man shot a man, and walked it off and wrote a song about it. The next song I listened to was “Satan is real” by Louvin brothers. This song started off with a slow guitar instrumental but the instrumental drops out and the track sound like a recorded speech. Of a man in church reminding everyone that despite’s gods existence satan still exist. The instrumental rejoins the track to accompany its chorus. The chorus was sung in a somber mellow tone, that made the song sound serious. The next song I listened to was “There Goes another love song” by the outlaws. In the article country musicians where described as illiterate white trash, with this band being an exception as they where not illiterate. Some people went as far to call the song a “rock anthem”, however the country sound was prominent in my opinion. The song is played in the major key and therefore sounds happy. Despite listing to the song a few times found it to be very catchy.