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Blue Highway

Wondrous Love – 2003 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Blue Highway

One of contemporary bluegrass music's most celebrated and award-winning bands, Blue Highway's albums have always featured a gospel song or two, often original compositions from the pen of Shawn Lane or Tim Stafford. Fans of their spiritual side will be overjoyed with their new all-gospel album.

The disc begins with an a capella, shape-note style rendition of the titular hymn that's guaranteed to raise a few goosebumps. They also tackle classics like Jimmy Martin and Paul Williams' "This World Is Not My Home" and "The Old Rugged Cross" along with "The Old Brush Arbor," a song recorded by George Jones in the 1960s, and a reworked and somewhat rewritten take on A.P. Carter's "Live On Down The Line." The real revelations, however, come with the band's original compositions. "I'm Asking You," "Seven Sundays In A Row," "Chasing The Wind" and "The Ground Is Level At The Foot Of the Cross" are contemporary-sounding songs with traditional values, an apt description for the band as well.