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Sounds of Home

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Album Review

Sounds of Home, Blue Highway's tenth album in its 17-year existence, is also the bluegrass quintet's third CD, following Still Climbing Mountains and Through the Window of a Train, to consist entirely of original songs written by members of the group. It is a tribute to both the bandmembers' fidelity to bluegrass tradition and to their songwriting ability that it would be possible to listen to the disc without realizing that the material is all newly written. Shawn Lane (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, vocals), Wayne Taylor (bass, vocals), and Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals) with his writing partner Steve Gulley all contribute traditional-sounding numbers that touch on issues of love, family, work, faith, and, of course, home in a manner that never betrays the 21st century origins of the tunes, and the group, also including Rob Ickes (Dobro, slide guitar) and Jason Burleson (banjo, guitar, mandolin, vocals) plays them in traditional bluegrass styles that include melancholy ballads ("Sounds of Home" itself), instrumental breakdowns ("Roaring Creek"), and even an old-timey country sound (the steel guitar-infused "My Heart Was Made to Love You"). Lane's high tenor voice, reminiscent of Bill Monroe, adds to the traditional feel of "I Ain't Gonna Lay My Hammer Down" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine" when he sings lead, and also gives the required "high lonesome" feel when he provides harmonies. Love is professed and denied, nature is celebrated and feared, manual labor sustains and threatens ("Only Seventeen" follows a teenager down a mine), and, throughout, God rules the universe. And it's all set to some blistering fingerpicking on the acoustic instruments, making for an excellent Blue Highway album to add to the collection.

Customer Reviews

Consistently amazing!!

What a great album! Go ahead and purchase this one and add it to your collection if you love strong bluegrass music! I have been a Blue Highway fan for years, and they are a big reason I am playing bluegrass today. They never fail to impress and are one of the top bands in the business today. I can't wait to catch these guys at IBMA this year (2011).


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 Great Dobro Sessions and another for his playing on I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,...
Full Bio
Sounds of Home, Blue Highway
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Customer Ratings