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Victory Review

by Jana Pendragon

This is almost a greatest-hits package by virtue of the fact that Victory contains several remakes of well-known Billy Joe Shaver compositions, including "Live Forever," "If I Give My Soul," "Old Five and Dimers," and "You Can't Beat Jesus Christ." New cuts include "Son of Calvary," "Cowboy Who Started a Fight," and "My Mother's Name Is Victory," the tune that so aptly gives this project its title. Spiritually based, Victory gives the listener a glimpse into the soul of Shaver through the songs he has written about his relationship with his Lord. A man of strong spiritual conviction, Shaver has lived a life that often put him in conflict with his religious beliefs. This conflict was at the center of his vast and seemingly never-ending well-spring of music and his need to write. Working with his talented son, Eddy Shaver, who co-produced this first-ever release from New West Records, has given Shaver a renewed sense of himself and his place in the music industry. Stark and basic, Victory contains immense emotional landscapes and the always-startling vocal performances of the only songwriter who could ever hope to stand toe-to-toe with Hank Williams. Satisfying and potent, Billy Joe and Eddy Shaver continue to walk their own path to victory.

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