Two years ago, the great Texan outlaw country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver died of a stroke at the age of 81. This fall, we’re getting a new tribute album called Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver, and it’ll feature people like George Strait, Margo Price, Steve Earle, and Amanda Shires covering Shaver’s songs. We’ve already posted Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams’ take on Shaver’s signature song “Live Forever,” and now the country titan Miranda Lambert has dropped her playful cover of another Shaver nugget.
Billy Joe Shaver wrote “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be A Diamond Someday)” for fellow country artist John Anderson, who turned it into a top-five country hit in 1981. Miranda Lambert, who just released her Palomino album a few months ago, has recorded the song as a rootsy, uptempo honky-tonk ramble, which is pretty much how everyone has always done it with that song.
Talking to Rolling Stone Country, Lambert says:
Billy Joe’s words have inspired countless artists for decades, myself included. I was singing his songs in honky-tonks all across our home state of Texas by the time I could drive. “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” was always one of my favorites to perform. I was honored when they asked me to record it for this project and join so many of my heroes to celebrate his incredible legacy.
Below, listen to the Miranda Lambert cover and the Billy Joe Shaver original.
Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver is out 11/11 on New West. Check out our recent feature on Miranda Lambert here.