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Billy Joe Shaver

Billy and the Kid – 2004 (Compadré)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Billy Joe Shaver

It was inevitable that nearly four years after Eddy Shaver's untimely death from a heroin overdose that half-finished tracks would be touched up, completed and released in an album.

Rather than being handled by a record label only interested in turning a quick buck, the project was overseen by his father, Billy Joe Shaver. Together, father and son made some of the most memorable country music of the '90s, and for at least one more record, Billy Joe and Eddy rekindle the stirring moments only the band Shaver could produce.

Billy Joe and producer Tony Colton revisited a series of Eddy's unfinished tapes from 1996 - with mystical encouragement from beyond, Billy Joe notes - and compiled a coherent, relatively tight 11-song set.

Billy Joe contributes vocals to several songs and adds one new piece, the opening cut "Fame." But it's Eddy's buzzsaw guitar licks that bring back so many memories. A little bluesier, perhaps, and Eddy's vocals create a vintage Allman Brothers feel. At 38, Eddy Shaver died much too young on New Year's Eve day of 2000. But for 11 more songs, Billy and his kid are reunited one last time.