Billy Joe Shaver: Everybody's Brother

Music Reviews Billy Joe Shaver
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Billy Joe Shaver: Everybody's Brother

One of the original “Country Outlaws,” Shaver seems to have every experience of his storied life etched into his remarkable face. So it makes sense that an album of original spirituals would be ?lled with his trademark ornery attitude. Who else would sing “If you don’t love Jesus, go to Hell!” or cast Jesus as a no-bullshit-taking enforcer on “The Tough Get Going.” But the mix of (sometimes unintentional) humor and Bible-thumping doesn’t sustain Shaver through the entire album, particularly when his diminished vocal strength bottoms out (as on the aptly titled “Played The Game Too Long”). The best moment is saved for last in a boisterous duet with the late Johnny Cash, “You Just Can’t Beat Jesus Christ,” which strikes a divine/honky-tonk balance that’s missing from much of the album.

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