Friday, December 18, 2009

Blue Highway celebrates 15 award-winning years together

Bill Kramer • Columnist • December 17, 2009

Friday night, one of the finest bands in contemporary bluegrass will be playing a special 15th anniversary concert at Roanoke's Jefferson Center. Blue Highway has the full package: strong lead and harmony vocals, excellent instrumental command by all the players and original songwriting by everybody in the band. Most bluegrass groups have one or two of these attributes, but few have all three.
The band has just released "Some Day: The Fifteenth Anniversary Collection," a compendium of some of its best work and a new collaboration with Darrell Scott.
Blue Highway is Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals); Wayne Taylor (bass, vocals); Shawn Lane (mandolin, guitar, fiddle, vocals); Rob Ickes (dobro, slide guitar, vocals); and Jason Burleson (banjo, guitar, vocals).
Stafford said he couldn't imagine the group's recognition and success during its humble beginnings 15 years ago.
"It's amazing. I had no idea it would last this long, and acclaim and success were the furthest things from my mind," he said. "It really started as a weekend-type band since Wayne and I both had jobs at the time, and Shawn was starting a metals technology degree in South Carolina. The idea was we'd play a few shows on the weekends, record some and have fun and see where it went from there. Then things just snowballed."


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