For The Game, due from Rounder on January 21, Blue Highway has again put together an album of original material written within the band. Each of the five members have at least one track, with co-writes from such noted bluegrass writers as Craig Market, Jon Weisberger and Steve Gulley.
It’s a fine way for Blue Highway to celebrate their 20th anniversary year in 2014. These same five musicians (Tim Stafford, Rob Ickes, Shawn Lane, Jason Burleson, Wayne Taylor) got together in 1994, planning to work a few shows per month. Tim had just left Alison Krauss & Union Station, whose touring and recording schedule had worn him down, Rob lived in Nashville, a good distance from the East Tennessee/southwestern Virginia area where the rest of the guys lived, and held day jobs outside of music.
But their debut record for Rebel was such a hit that they soon found the demand for their live shows ramping up, and they were full time musicians in short order.
The Game will be their 11th album, the 10th with all new material, and like any group that stays and plays together for years, Blue Highway gets stronger with each release. As does their songwriting, which is what really sets them apart.
Resonator guitarist Rob Ickes is as eager as the band’s many fans for the new CD to hit.
“I’m really excited about the new Blue Highway recording. I think it is one of our best, if not our best release. The guys have written an incredible collection of new songs, and Jason and I each have a new instrumental offering on this album. Hope everyone enjoys it!”
We’ll have a review closer to the release date next month.