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It's A Long, Long Road

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Customer Reviews

The first of a long string of great albums

This album was the debut album by Blue Highway, bringing togeher former Alison Krauss & Union Station member Tim Stafford on guitar, lead & harmony vocals; Shawn Lane, a former member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, on mandolin, fiddle, lead & harmony vocals; Jason Burleson on banjo and harmony vocals; Rob Ickes on dobro; and last but certainly not least, Wayne Taylor on bass and lead vocals.

From the opening cut (also the title cut) 'It's a Long, Long Road' to the last song on the record 'Say Won't You Be Mine' it was clear these guys were made to play in a band together - good rock solid rhythm, tight harmony vocals, impeccable lead singing and a driving feel to their music - everything clicks with this group.

Before this release, the only member of the band I was familiar with was Tim Stafford, from his days with Alison Krauss & Union Station. Just as his days with AKUS, Tim brings his unique guitar playing and singing to the group, as well as great songwriting. Tim helped form Blue Highway, and it's clear to me that he knows how to put a band together.

I remember after listening to this record, there was one voice I kept on coming back to though - Wayne Taylor. After hearing his lead vocal work on this album I quickly became one of his biggest fans. Some lead singers come across as good singers, but no passion or conviction in the words they sing. Wayne Taylor is DEFINITELY one of those singers who can make you smile in one moment, and almost bring you to tears in another.

Shawn Lane was another musician I had never heard before this recording, and I was immediately struck by his clear, soaring tenor vocals, as well as his incredible mandolin playing. In my humble opinion, he is one of the most underrated tenor singers in bluegrass today.

Rob Ickes comes from California, not exactly a place that one thinks about when you consider the 'hot beds' of bluegrass. His dobro style is one of his own - kind of a mixture between the great Jerry Douglas, and dobro pioneer Mike Auldridge. He knows just the right notes to put into a song, and more importantly in some cases, where to leave out unneccesary ones. Since his time with Blue Highway, Rob Ickes has become a much sought after session musician, and has put out several of his own recordings. He is a key part of the 'Blue Highway' sound.

Jason Burleson is another member of the band I had never heard until this recording. He has that very important intangible in his playing - drive. The banjo player in a bluegrass group can either make or break a band - they can sometimes be overbearing, playing over the top of the other members while trying to draw attention to theirself. Jason Burleson is a banjo player that makes a band. Take a listen to his banjo work on songs like 'In The Gravel Yard' and the Norman Blake tune 'Lord Won't You Help Me' and you'll see why he's such a great fit to the group.

There are a lot of albums that I've listened to, that only a few songs really stand out. But for me, every song on this album stands out. If I had to pick a few of my favorites they would have to be 'It's A Long, Long Road', 'The Girl I Left Behind' and 'Lord Won't You Help Me'

If you don't have this album in your collection, GET IT TODAY!

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

What a way to kick off a career! The members of Blue Highway first came together in 1994, which was definently their destiny. Their first album was "It's A Long, Long, Road", and I couldn't be happier with it. Each singer and picker possesses amazing talent that seperates this group from all others.

Wayne Taylor has an outstanding voice that will never disappoint you. Shawn Lane also has an amazing voice, as well as superb mandolin and fiddle playing talents. Jason Burelson can certainly play that banjo right! Rob Ikes is one of the top dobro players of all time. Tim Stafford brings the experience, great singing, smooth picking, and original song writing that seals the deal with this group.

I HIGHLY recommend this album to everyone out there! Blue Highway is the best group to get hooked on, and I don't believe anyone is better than these guys. My favorite song on this album is "Lonesome Pines" for sure! Always remember that "It's a long, long road to wonder all alone," so buy some Blue Highway songs to keep you company!

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The five experienced members of progressive bluegrass group Blue Highway have played in the bands of such notable artists as Alison Krauss & Union Station, Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks, and Doyle Lawson. Guitarist and vocalist Tim Stafford played on the Grammy-winning album Every Time You Say Goodbye by Alison Krauss & Union Station, while Dobro player Rob Ickes earned one for his contribution to the various-artists project The...
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It's A Long, Long Road, Blue Highway
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