For his first all-gospel release, Everybody’s Brother, the 68-year-old outlaw country legend assembled a cast that includes Tanya Tucker, Kris Kristofferson, and John Carter Cash.

Why a gospel album now?

It was time. It’s strong-medicine gospel, like “If you don’t love Jesus, go to hell” and stuff like that. Honky-tonk people can hear it and not get offended. I try to spread the Word as much as I can without shoving it down people’s throat.

Tell us how the title track came about.

The night before I was to record it, I guess in my mind I conjured up John[ny] Cash; it seemed like he was in the room with me. And he just kinda kicked me in the ass and told me to get that song straightened out. I had been working on it for about a year. All of a sudden it came to me how to write it, and the next morning I recorded it quickly before I lost the feel of it.

Have you had to call off any shows since your shooting incident in April?

No. I’ve kept all my shows, and I’m going to keep on going. I enjoy it too much, really.