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Through the Window of a Train

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Album Review

Blue Highway have been dominating the bluegrass charts since they came on the scene in the late '90s, and Through the Window of a Train is another impressive addition to their canon. The bandmembers wrote or co-wrote every tune here and while they still hew to their traditional playing, many of the tunes will surprise purists with their liberal slant. Wayne Taylor's "Homeless Man" tells the story of a Vietnam vet who dies of exposure after a lifetime of wandering the streets in a post-traumatic daze. When they sing "In this land of plenty where so many have it all, he sleeps in an alley half a block from city hall," it brings a lump to your throat. Rob Ickes drops notes that fall like frozen teardrops from his Dobro. "Two Soldiers" is another implicitly antiwar song, the tale of the two uniformed men who show up on the porch to announce that a son or daughter is never coming home. This is the kind of tune that can easily be over-sentimental, but the vocals and instrumentation here are understated, making the song an emotional blockbuster. "Blues on Blues" could easily be a mainstream country hit, a plainspoken song about broken hearts and lost love with hot picking from Ickes on Dobro and Shawn Lane on mandolin. "Life of a Travelin' Man," "Just Another Gravel in the Road," and the title tune are typical songs of hard times, wanderlust, and lost love, elevated by the band's stellar harmonies and signature musicianship. The instrumental "The North Cove" pays homage to the Celtic roots of bluegrass. The tune ends with a double-time jig that showcases Jason Burleson's banjo, Tim Stafford's guitar, and Lane's Irish-flavored fiddling. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Through The Window Of A Train

A tried and true Bluegrass band. A sound all their own even when singing, or playing songs done by others. Well worth a listen!!


Formed: 1994 in Kingsport, TN

Genre: Country

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

One of America's most celebrated bluegrass bands, Blue Highway have been one of the leading acts in acoustic country music since the group played their first show in Kingsport, Tennessee on December 31, 1995. The group's original lineup featured Jason Burleson (banjo), Rob Ickes (dobro; he'd previously worked with Alison Krauss, the Cox Family, and David Grisman), Shawn Lane (mandolin, fiddle, and vocals; a veteran with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Larry Sparks), Tim Stafford (guitar and vocals;...
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