Deeply rooted in traditional sounds and drawing from singer-songwriter and country influences of the late 1970s, Blue Highway has earned its place alongside legendary acts like The Seldom Scene and J.D. Crowe & The New South. Blue Highway makes its third appearance on Mountain Stage in the border town of Bristol, Tenn./Va.
A rare feat in modern bluegrass, Blue Highway still features all five original members: Guitarist Tim Stafford is regarded as one of bluegrass' most literate songwriters, and was a driving force behind the success of Alison Krauss & Union Station. Dobro player Rob Ickes is the IBMA's most heavily decorated bluegrass instrumentalist ever, bassist Wayne Taylor's vocals give the group a soulful edge, Jason Burleson's mournful banjo tone provides a constant anchor, and the vocals of mandolinist Shawn Lane continue to call to mind those of a young Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill, 17 years after the group's formation.
Blue Highway is followed by Mountain Stage band pianist Bob Thompson, with his jazz-inspired variation on the children's song "Skip to My Lou."
This Mountain Stage performance was originally published on June 5, 2012.