Plenty of bluegrass bands have managed to endure for a decade and a half, but to do so with essentially the same lineup is fairly rare. Yet, with the exception of a brief interlude around the turn of the millennium, the sterling music of Blue Highway has been produced by the same quintet: Tim Stafford (guitar), Wayne Taylor (bass), Shawn Lane (mandolin), Rob Ickes (Dobro) and Jason Burleson (banjo). Over that time they have justly earned a reputation as one of the world's premier acoustic bands, equally at home with material (most of it original) that satisfies the gamut of bluegrass fans from traditionalists to those of the progressive/Americana stripe.
From the title and a quick scan of the tracks, fans of the band (who likely already own all eight previous releases) might conclude that this is simply a "greatest hits" collection, but there are in fact three newly recorded tracks highlighting guests Sonya Isaacs and Darrell Scott. The remaining 10 cuts are drawn from their 4 previous Rounder discs since 2001 (after cutting their first three on Rebel, plus one on the Ceili label) and Ickes' solo effort, "Big Time." If you're a longtime fan, the three new songs make it more than worthwhile. If you're new to Blue Highway, it's an essential introduction to one of the best bands the music has to offer.