Artist Profiles: Blue Highway

Blue Highway

Blue Highway fuses tradition with progress to create their own unique and timeless style. Having played roles in bluegrass music’s most influential acts such as Alison Krauss and Union Station, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson and Ricky Skaggs, the members of Blue Highway — Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals), Wayne Taylor (lead vocals, bass), Shawn Lane (tenor vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle), Rob Ickes (Dobro, Scheerhorn acoustic slide guitar), and Jason Burleson (banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass vocals) — refuse to rest on their past accomplishments. Instead, they forge forward, carefully balancing tradition with innovation, continually contributing to the depth and breadth of a flowing bluegrass river. Skaggs himself provided the accolade, “//Blue Highway is writing their own history in bluegrass: fresh, but as old as the hills//.”

Blue Highway’s eighth album, Through The Window Of A Train was self-produced by the band and recorded at Maggard Sound Studios in Big Stone Gap,Virginia, and features 12 songs, all written or co-written by Blue Highway’s five accomplished songwriters – composers whose songs have been recorded by bluegrass staples Ronnie Bowman, Mountain Heart, the aforementioned Skaggs, and others.

The recording showcases Blue Highway at their songwriting, instrumental, and vocal peak. With a nod to family, tradition and travel on the album’s title track, the account of a fading cowboy on “My Ropin’ Days Are Done,” the characterizations of wars past and current on “Homeless Man” and “Two Soldiers,” and through the virtuosic picking on the instrumental “The North Cove,” Blue Highway simultaneously deliver the past, present, and future of bluegrass.

In January of 2010 Rounder Records released Some Day: The Fifteenth Anniversary Collection. The CD is a collection of the best of their Rounder recordings, one cut from a Rob Ickes solo album, and 3 new selections including “Bleeding for a Little Piece of Mind,” which was co-written by Tim Stafford and Darrell Scott and also features Scott on lead vocals.


* It’s a Long, Long Road (Rebel Records, 1995)
* Wind to the West (Rebel Records, 1996)
* Midnight Storm (Rebel Records, 1998)
* Blue Highway (Ceili Music, 1999)
* Still Climbing Mountains (Rounder, 2001)
* Wondrous Love (Rounder, 2003)
* Marbletown (Rounder, 2005)
* Lonesome Pine (Rebel Records, 2006), compilation of their Rebel Records material
* Through the Window of a Train (Rounder 2008)
* Some Day: The 15th Anniversary Collection (2014)
* Sounds of Home (Rounder Records, 2011)
* The Game (Rounder Records, 2014)
* Original Traditional (Rounder Records, 2016)


Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.


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