ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

Billy Joe Shaver

Everybody's Brother (Compadre)

Only Billy Joe Shaver could produce an album that mixes honky-tonk and gospel into the ass-whuppin' whole that is Everybody's Brother. He's always praised the Lord while singing of life on a bar stool, but here Shaver's more interested in salvation, offering it in his patented rough-hewn country-rock style. One thing that makes Everybody's Brother different from BJS's past work are guests Kris Kristofferson, Marty Stuart, Tanya Tucker, and John Anderson. The duet setting suits Shaver, especially the highly charged "Winning Again" with Stuart. The most talked about track is sure to be "You Just Can't Beat Jesus Christ" with the late Johnny Cash. Originally recorded as a demo in the late 1970s with a 15-year-old Eddy Shaver on guitar, it's a marvelous hunk of greasy Southern funk. John Carter Cash, Johnny's son, produced Everybody's Brother with a light touch, leaving the marquee talent's unpolished, rowdy nature indomitably intact. The bluegrass feel of opener "Rolling Stone" and the Native American trappings of the title track, featuring Bill Miller, are two novel ways Billy Joe Shaver's songs are presented with stirring results. (6:30pm, Austin Ventures stage)

***.5

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