A Rhodes Scholar, Airborne Ranger, actor and songwriter, Kris Kristofferson is a Renaissance man in a time when such men are rare. Broken Freedom Song is his first for the Oh Boy label and it’s a homecoming of sorts, as it was Kristofferson who discovered John Prine, who owns the label, and his pal, Steve Goodman, in 1971. Comprised of 11 lesser-known tunes and four previously unreleased songs, the disc’s stripped-down format—just Kris on acoustic guitar backed by Stephen Bruton on guitar and Keith Carper on bass—places the focus on the brief yet vivid stories and political sentiments. An activist for social justice and human rights, Kristofferson’s “The Circle,” “Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down” and “Sandinista” are as hard-hitting protest songs you’ve ever heard. As a whole, Broken Freedom Song is an unexpected surprise—an intimate and thoughtful evening with a great singer-songwriter. It rarely gets better than this.