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The Wilkinsons - Highway
CD Review by Jim Moulton

This is the Wilkinsons' third album released since they debuted with Nothing But Love on Warner Brothers in 1998. This is their first venture on a non major label (33rd Street Records) They are super popular in Canada and have a large fan base there.

This time around, as usual when you go to a smaller label, you may get less promotion and recording money, but you get to do more of what you want to. Father Steve helps out with the production. Plus, they all helped out in writing most of the songs on this fourteen song set.

The production really has major label quality, very good production, warm sound. A couple of my favorite studio musicians are here ; Dan Dugmore on steel, lap steel and dobro plus Shannon Forrest on drums.

How would I describe the sound?, I guess "country pop", actually quite an eclectic collection of songs with way too many special effects for me, it is a bit overproduced. 

Amanda is the focal point of the disc with her great vocals. If you look at the artwork of the CD with the family around an old woody car in Technicolor, you would expect a more traditional sound. But it is much more new country with a few exceptions. The songs are all well written. Honestly, I have never reviewed a CD so pop sounding. My last two reviews were Americana and the best new artist that I have heard this year, Jessi Alexander. So why am I reviewing this? I'll tell you, I love the family effort put into it. Amanda's the star, but she is willing to share her glory with her brother and Dad.

"You Want Me" - A hard rock song that sounds like something Avril Lavigne would sing. Hard rock guitar with strange backup vocals.

"One Blue Day"- A melancholy song with some great bass and jazzy guitar, nice dobro too. Some great fiddle parts and a very nice production. Amanda sounds great here.

"Grains Of Sand" - Has to be Steve singing, this has a real country sound, Steve has a real country voice. This is a very emotional song that really moves me. Real nice guitar and some creative steel by Dugmore. Great backup vocals by Amanda and Tyler, probably my favorite song. Beautiful harmonies.

"Highway" - (title track) Is another captivating song song sang by Steve. This is truly a great song, lyrically speaking and musically- Acoustic guitars sound great. Dugmore is awesome on steel. Steve reminds me of Buddy Jewel (his voice anyway), he should record a CD someday. 

"Williamstown" - A great ballad sang by Amanda about forbidden love. "Stuck here on the right side of the tracks".

"Human" - The only song Tyler sings lead on. Very good lyrics. This has a straight ahead rock sound.

Well, no question this will do great in Canada, we will have to see how the American media accepts it. 

www.wilkinsonsonline.com 

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The Wilkinsons - Highway CD track list:

1. Little Girl 
2. Melancholy Wine 
3. Leaving Song 
4. Inside the Lines 
5. L.A. 
6. One Blue Day 
7. No One's Gonna
8. Human 
9. Highway 
10. Not Today 
11. Occasionally Crazy 
12. You Want Me 
13. Williamstown 
14. Grains of Sand

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Real People Reviews

I have every one of their CDs even one that was never released , this family trio are the best and get better every recording c d that comes out ! I agree with you that Amamda's voice is the top......but you will never get the same harmony sound without Steve and Tyler, they have to be there as far as i am concerned ! I am so happy you mentioned Steve's voice, I have always said that he should record his own CD he has a very distinctive voice! My daughter and I love the Wilkinsons, she is going to be 20 and I will be 53, so it shows you that the capture all ages with their music, not to mention how charming and how personable they get with their fans, Angel (my daughter) fell in love with them since we first heard Amanda and Tyler win at a "HOME GROWN CAFE" show that was televised every Sunday at 7pm. oat C.J.O.H. here in Ottawa way back 1994/1995 ! I have started a WILKINSON"S CONVOY here on the Wilkinsons Forum Line to try and get their songs to # 1 on the charts and we as well as 1,000 other Fans and right now here in Canada on The Chevy Top 20 we are at # 5 getting closer and and closer to # 1 !!!! YAAAAAAAAWHOOOOOOOO Lise & Angel and the rest of the Fans. Watch out all you other artists HERE COMES "THE WILKINSON'S....YAHOOOW !!!! THEY ARE DEFIANTLY NOT ONLY THE BEST COUNTRY GROUP,  BUT THE BEST INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY TRIO THAT AUTOMATICALLY SHEDS LOVE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHEREVER THEY PERFORM! ALSO WITH , GOOD MORALS AND VALUES AND THAT MY FRIEND, IS VERY RARE IN TODAY'S WORLD AND YOU WILL NEVER FIND THAT MUCH AFFECT ON FANS OF ALL AGE'S WITH ANY OTHER ARTIST IN THE WORLD !!!!! I WOULD SAY THAT MAKES THEM # 1 IN OUR HEARTS !
LISE - VEZINA OTTAWA ONTARIO CANADA

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