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Blue Highway  
Through The Window OF A Train

By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
2/11/08

This recording has a real refreshing vibe to it. It is clean with a minimal use of effects, but more than your normal Bluegrass group would use and less than a Newgrass group like The Greencards. After many listens to this recording, I have just fallen in love with it. More than anything, the depth of the lyrics really struck me. Most Bluegrass cuts are kinda picturesque songs with familiar lyrics and instrumental breaks. 

This group is a "super group," if I can say that, a real talented group of five guys that are masters of their instruments and also great vocalists and songwriters. This is the band's eighth album and was recorded at Maggard Sound Studios in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and self produced by the band. The tempos go from fast to slow and everywhere in between, the instrument tones are warm and the interplay of vocals and instruments is just like a band that is in sync. 

Tim Stafford is the leader and great guitar player, his rhythmic guitar playing is a big part of the band's sound. Rob Ickes is one of the best Dobro players around, period. Shawn Lane who plays mandolin, fiddle and guitar has a great tenor voice and also is a prolific songwriter. Wayne Taylor is the bass player and lead singer for the group. His songs are some of the groups most popular. Jason Burleson is the original banjo picker of the group who has a love for jazz and sings bass.

"Life Of a Travelin' Man" starts out the CD with a great mid tempo groove and a memorable melody. The song sort of sets the tone for what is to come while telling the story of the travelin' man with great instrumentals throughout, amazing banjo and lots of nice guitar, this group really lives out their songs.

"Homeless Man" is a sad song about a vet who is left homeless, lots of emotion here. The vocals are inspired, this is a group at the top of their game.

"Two Soldiers" is a real gem, just love the hooks and melody, tells about the two soldiers who have to go to homes and tell the sad news a relative has died. And There's Two Soldiers at The Door - Just a real tearjerker of a song which is real inspiring. 

"A Week From Today"- this is a real interesting song, about a prisoner who is to be released in a week, but really does not want to be. Some really good bluegrass hi-lonesome harmonies in this song. I love Ickes dobro playing in this song.

All in all this is a great album by a great bluegrass group. Twelve great songs, not a throwaway in the bunch. If you are a bluegrass fan, you have to check this out.

Release Date - Feb 12, 2008


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Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace Site 
Rounder Records

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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