NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILEThose who discovered (or rediscovered) the power of Billy Joe Shaver via 1993’s eye-opening Tramp on Your Street will have to readjust their expectations with Victory. While Tramp (like Victory, credited simply to Shaver to reflect the vital contributions of Billy Joe’s son and lead guitarist, Eddy) was a raucous affair, this outing is gentle and reflective. Recorded over six days with just father and son playing acoustic instruments, Victory is as sound and austere as a church pew. Billy Joe is in a plaintive mood here, meditating on the tribulations of this ephemeral earth throughout a dozen country-gospel originals. From the a cappella opener, “Son of Calvary” (“When my day on earth has ended / And the race is over run / I will melt into the likeness / Of my own beloved ones”) through the laid-bare closer, “The Bow and the Arrow,” this Victory is hard won–and justified. –Steven Stolder

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