News Roundup: Billy Joe Shaver, Dierks Bentley, Phil Ramone


Celebrated country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver is currently on trial in a Waco, Texas court, facing an aggravated assault charge stemming from a 2007 incident at Papa Joe’s Saloon in Lorena, Texas. Shaver is accused of shooting 70-year-old Billy Bryant Coker (who’s deceased cousin was once married to Shaver’s wife) in the face following an argument. According to court documents, Shaver asked Coker “Where do you want it?” before firing. Shaver is claiming self-defense, and has hired lawyer Dick DeGuerin, who in the past has represented cult leader David Koresh and former Texas House majority leader Tom DeLay, to represent his case.

Videos by American Songwriter

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Famed music producer Phil Ramone, best known for his work with Billy Joel (The Stranger), has been selected to receive the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards on June 17 in New York. Ramone, who’s taken home 14 Grammys, has also worked with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles. Among Ramone’s accolades: he recorded Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday To You” song to President Kennedy, and his company was the first to release CDs for commercial use.

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Dierks Bentley’s ambitious Up On The Ridge, his fifth studio album for Capitol Nashville, will feature a return to the bluegrass and roots music of his youth. Says Bentley: “I fell in love with this kind of music the first time I walked into the Station Inn with a fake I.D. at 19 years old … these guys, who were my age, were playing their instruments so hard it knocked your head back. After that, I never missed a Tuesday night there in almost eight years. Without the whole bluegrass community taking me in, I would have had no place to start from. It is my foundation.”

Up On The Ridge also finds Bentley tackling songs by Bob Dylan (“Senor [Tales of Yankee Power]”), U2 (“Pride [In The Name Of Love]”) as well as a country classic; Kris Kristofferson’s “Bottle to The Bottom,” performed as a duet with the man himself.  Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert each lend guest vocals to the album, and a handful of bluegrass greats, including Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers, Sam Bush, and the Del McCoury Band provide instrumental backup.

Up On The Ridge is due June 8. Watch a short film on the making of the album here.
Track list:
1. Up On The Ridge
(Written by Angelo Petraglia, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)

2. Fallin’ For You
(Written by Shawn Camp, Paul Kennerly, Background Vocals by Chris Stapleton)

3. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile)
(Written by Bob Dylan)

4. Rovin’ Gambler (with The Punch Brothers)
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley)

5. Draw Me A Map
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)

6. Bad Angel (Featuring Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson)
(Written by Verlon Thompson, Suzi Ragsdale)

7. Fiddlin’ Around
(Written by John Scott Sherrill, Shawn Camp, Jeff Austin, Background Vocals by Vince Gill)

8. You’re Dead to Me
(Written by Tim O’Brien, Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Tim O’Brien)

9. Pride (In The Name Of Love) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Del McCoury)
(Written by Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson)

10. Love Grows Wild
(Written by Julie Miller, Buddy Miller)

11. Bottle to The Bottom (featuring Kris Kristofferson)
(Written by Kris Kristofferson)

12. Down In The Mine
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Sonya Isaacs)


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