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Everybody's Brother
     

Everybody's Brother

by Billy Joe Shaver
 
Events in Billy Joe Shaver's life -- the death of his mother, wife, and son, foremost -- might suggest he has come to the Lord at precisely the right time, but anyone expecting melodramatic testifying from a suddenly penitent sinner better think again. After announcing his intention to keep on in his own fashion in the brisk shuffle "Rolling Stone"(it might be

Overview

Events in Billy Joe Shaver's life -- the death of his mother, wife, and son, foremost -- might suggest he has come to the Lord at precisely the right time, but anyone expecting melodramatic testifying from a suddenly penitent sinner better think again. After announcing his intention to keep on in his own fashion in the brisk shuffle "Rolling Stone"(it might be subtitled "Grandma Tried," given its verse about his grandma trying to keep him on the good foot in spite of himself), Billy Joe tears into a defiant, surging "Get Thee Behind Me Satan," with John Anderson adding a gritty second vocal of his own as both men convey a sense of doing fierce battle against demons they can't control. This is the sound of a man fighting against his own DNA, striving to do the right thing but having no idea how to change his ways. Ah, but Billy Joe has always had a big heart inside that rough and rowdy physical vessel of his, and so it is that his tender remembrance of absent loved ones in "Most Precious" will bring tears with its candid admissions of loneliness and enduring love. Anderson comes back for a woozy duet on the honky-tonk testimonial "Jesus Is the Only One That Loves Us," but the best is saved for last when, on a late-'70s recording, Shaver teams up with a feisty Johnny Cash (whose son John Carter Cash produced) and featuring the late Eddy Shaver doing some robust, twangy picking. Marty Stuart and Tanya Tucker drop by for memorable duets as well. All shall be received.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Billy Joe Shaver is one of the finest songwriters country music has produced in the past 50 years, a poet of the honky tonk who can write about wild nights and the troubled morning after with equal eloquence. Shaver is also a devout Christian whose faith has guided him through more than his share of hard times -- including the death of his wife, mother, and son within the space of 18 months -- and if you find that at all off-putting, you won't be especially comfortable with his album Everybody's Brother. While not strictly a gospel set, most of the songs on Everybody's Brother deal explicitly with issues of Christian faith, and Shaver doesn't pull any punches in these tunes, drawing a line in the sand between salvation and the fallen world. Shaver doesn't pretend that walking in the light is an easy or simple task, and "Get Thee Behind Me Satan" and "Jesus Is the Only One That Loves Us" speak with rough-hewn conviction about the temptations of drugs, booze, and flesh with the honesty of a man who knows their allure all too well. Shaver also has little use for Christians who lack the conviction to help their struggling brethren, an issue he confronts on "No Earthly Good" and "If You Don't Love Jesus." But Shaver also unashamedly celebrates his faith and the peace Jesus has brought to him, and the sincerity and lack of pretense on "Winning Again," "When I Get My Wings," and "Everybody's Brother" may be a bit strong for those who don't share his beliefs. While John Carter Cash's sympathetic, straightforward production serves this material well, the guest vocalists who appear on several songs are another matter -- Kris Kristofferson's voice is in sad shape on "No Earthly Good," and John Anderson's roughhouse style doesn't mesh well with Shaver on his two songs here. But there's no denying the emotional power and passion of these performances, whether Shaver is singing about romantic love ("Played the Game Too Long," featuring a cameo from a game Tanya Tucker, and "To Be Loved by a Woman") or divine love, and the final track, an archival selection in which Shaver and Johnny Cash duet on "You Just Can't Beat Jesus Christ," is superb. Plenty of country acts have recorded pretty and polished gospel albums over the years, but Everybody's Brother is something different, a flinty but unerringly honest testimony from a songwriter who loves Jesus and has no use for false piety. It's a remarkable set that deserves to be heard regardless of your spiritual affiliations.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
Label:
Compadre Records
UPC:
0616892902928
catalogNumber:
929029

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joe Shaver   Primary Artist
Marty Stuart   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Accompaniment
John Anderson   Vocals
Johnny Cash   Vocals
Kris Kristofferson   Vocals,Accompaniment
Pat McLaughlin   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Bill Miller   Flute,Percussion,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Etta Britt   Background Vocals
Freddy Joe Fletcher   Drums
Tony Harrell   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Harmonium
Jamie Hartford   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Kenny Malone   Drums
Dave Pomeroy   Bass,Bass Guitar
David Roe   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Randy Scruggs   Acoustic Guitar
Tanya Tucker   Vocals,Accompaniment
Eddy Shaver   Electric Guitar
Paco Shipp   Harmonica
Rick Lonow   Percussion,Drums
John Anderson   Vocals,Accompaniment
Laura Cash   Fiddle
Whole Gang   Percussion
Dave Roe   Electric Bass

Technical Credits

Bobby Bare   Composer
Billy Joe Shaver   Composer
Jack Clement   Producer,Engineer
Mathew Knowles   Executive Producer
John Carter Cash   Producer,Audio Production
Chuck Turner   Engineer
Hillman Hall   Composer

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