A honky-tonk legend takes the stage at Davey's.

Country Boy 

A honky-tonk legend takes the stage at Davey's.

THU 12/9
Billy Joe Shaver rose to fame in 1973 when he wrote nearly all of Waylon Jennings' classic Honky Tonk Heroes album. With songs such as "I've Been to Georgia on a Fast Train" and "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," he helped to create the "outlaw country" sound -- and was one of the most gently faithful country songwriters ever. Shaver's recent activity is equally impressive. He struggled through the grueling yet rewarding process of revisiting and finishing the last solo album of his late son and collaborator, Eddie, a work left incomplete after Eddie's overdose in 2000, and he released it this past summer as Billy and the Kid. His rugged but inspiring life was chronicled this year in director Luciana Pedraza's debut documentary, The Portrait of Billy Joe, and in November, Shaver was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. An artist as down-to-earth, real, funny and moving as any we've seen, Shaver plays Thursday at Davey's Uptown (3402 Main, 816-753-1909), with local hero Mike Ireland opening at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. -- Mike Warren

Festive Overtures
Bonnie Rideout sleighs us.

FRI 12/10
Traditional Scottish-Irish music is all-purpose: One can dance a jig and hoist a pint of bitter to the merry fiddle, or one can lead kilted countrymen into battle against the British as pipes trill and bodhrans thrump. We find this music most useful, however, at Christmas as a suitably wintry and festive alternative to the tired old home-for-the-holidays play list. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, celebrated Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout brings a troupe of folk musicians and dancers to the Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence, 785-864-2787) to help us forget that "Jingle Bell Rock" was ever recorded. -- Jason Harper

Dean for America
The James Dean Trio shows its metal.

FRI 12/10
Rebels without a cause who play metal without a pause, the five (!) members of James Dean Trio position themselves east of Eden and south of heaven. The group hides serene jazz interludes in the eyes of its hardcore hurricanes, letting hepcats snap their fingers before the band snaps their necks. Its aptly titled debut disc, Getting Scary, is a roller-coaster ride that requires a death grip on the guardrails. Navigating this serpentine instrumental terrain can be hazardous, and screecher Jon Terry makes for an unsettling tour guide. John Bersuch, king of the seriously warped Q&A session, will use proceeds from this JDT-headlined benefit show Friday at the Brick (1727 McGee) to fund his local-rock 'zine, Dandercroft. Not coincidentally, opening acts Bellweather, In the Pines and One Million Tiny Tiny Jesuses all appear in the publication's fourth issue, which will arrive in February 2005. For more information, call 816-421-1634. -- Andrew Miller

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