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Blue Highway

Midnight Storm – 1998 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Mark "Brink" Brinkman

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CDs by Blue Highway

From the first notes of "I'd Rather Be a Lonesome Pine," you get the feeling this album might be something special. Blue Highway reaches a maturity as a band and establishes a sound totally their own. Yes, one might hear a tinge of Bill Monroe, a hint of the Stanley Brothers, but it's still unmistakably Blue Highway.

The strength of the musicianship stands out, led by Wayne Taylor and Shawn Lane sharing lead vocals. Tim Stafford lays down a solid foundation on rhythm guitar. Rob Ickes does amazing work on the resophonic guitar, while Jason Burleson contributes "brass-knuckle" banjo.

The material is strong; there's not a weak cut among the bunch. The band shows its versatility with its a cappella version of the gospel tune "Some Day," the blues-laced "Last Dollar Blues" and really cuts loose on "Getting Over You."With their third release, Blue Highway establishes itself as a bluegrass force to be reckoned with.