Through the Window of a Train

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Not that Blue Highway haven't been working on a higher plane all along, but on Through the Window of a Train, they really outdo themselves. The album resonates with a contemporary backwoods feel coupled to an urgency born of strong original material flush with social consciousness. It's compelling as both literature and music, a memorable achievement in every respect. In his poignant "Homeless Man," Wayne Taylor observes a decorated Vietnam vet, now forgotten and struggling, fully realized and vividly recalled in all too common tale that rolls out with chilling inevitability against the steady strumming of two guitars and a mandolin supporting Taylor's sturdy tenor ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Not that Blue Highway haven't been working on a higher plane all along, but on Through the Window of a Train, they really outdo themselves. The album resonates with a contemporary backwoods feel coupled to an urgency born of strong original material flush with social consciousness. It's compelling as both literature and music, a memorable achievement in every respect. In his poignant "Homeless Man," Wayne Taylor observes a decorated Vietnam vet, now forgotten and struggling, fully realized and vividly recalled in all too common tale that rolls out with chilling inevitability against the steady strumming of two guitars and a mandolin supporting Taylor's sturdy tenor vocal. The same two guitars-and-mandolin lineup sputters a steady rhythm to power Tim Stafford's "Two Soldiers," a gut-wrenching but seldom-told tale of the emotional toll exacted on the uniformed men who bring families the tragic news of a soldier's death. Blue Highway end this chilling portrait with the sound of a lone, haunting brush drum and, further in the distance, a muted boom, like guns in salute to the fallen. Stafford's steady-churning title song, on the other hand, is a pure bluegrass toe-tapper relating the poignant reminiscences of a lifelong railroader. In the moody ballad "My Ropin' Days Are Done," Stafford co-opts the melody from "Streets of Laredo" to relate the anxiety of a rodeo cowboy who's feeling adrift as age does him in, although his plaintive adieu suggests he's got one more ride left in him before he goes home for good. Dreams die hard here. Get on board -- Blue Highway's on a roll.
All Music Guide - J. Poet
Blue Highway have been dominating the bluegrass charts since they came on the scene in the late '90s, and Through the Window of a Train is another impressive addition to their canon. The bandmembers wrote or co-wrote every tune here and while they still hew to their traditional playing, many of the tunes will surprise purists with their liberal slant. Wayne Taylor's "Homeless Man" tells the story of a Vietnam vet who dies of exposure after a lifetime of wandering the streets in a post-traumatic daze. When they sing "In this land of plenty where so many have it all, he sleeps in an alley half a block from city hall," it brings a lump to your throat. Rob Ickes drops notes that fall like frozen teardrops from his Dobro. "Two Soldiers" is another implicitly antiwar song, the tale of the two uniformed men who show up on the porch to announce that a son or daughter is never coming home. This is the kind of tune that can easily be over-sentimental, but the vocals and instrumentation here are understated, making the song an emotional blockbuster. "Blues on Blues" could easily be a mainstream country hit, a plainspoken song about broken hearts and lost love with hot picking from Ickes on Dobro and Shawn Lane on mandolin. "Life of a Travelin' Man," "Just Another Gravel in the Road," and the title tune are typical songs of hard times, wanderlust, and lost love, elevated by the band's stellar harmonies and signature musicianship. The instrumental "The North Cove" pays homage to the Celtic roots of bluegrass. The tune ends with a double-time jig that showcases Jason Burleson's banjo, Tim Stafford's guitar, and Lane's Irish-flavored fiddling.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/12/2008
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661059429
  • Catalog Number: 610594
  • Sales rank: 67,033

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Blue Highway Primary Artist
Rob Ickes Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Horn, Guitar (Resonator), Group Member
Tim Stafford Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal), Lead, Group Member
Wayne Taylor Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal), Group Member
Tony Creasman Percussion, Drums
Jason Burleson Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass (Vocal), Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Lead, Group Member
Shawn Lane Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Lead, Group Member
Technical Credits
Jim Price Engineer
Wood Newton Composer
Tim Stafford Composer, Introduction
Bill Wolf Mastering
Van Atkins Engineer
Steve Gulley Composer
Craig Havighurst Liner Notes
Jon Weisberger Composer
Jason Burleson Composer
Sarah Lainie Radawich Cover Photo
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