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Blue Highways

Steve Ashley

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The seductive, laid back “Out here on the Island” and “Island #2 Reprise” act as bookends here - opening and closing the album, but don’t necessarily typify the overall feel as we move from more upbeat tracks like “Sleepy Sunday Town” and “If I had a Boat” (The Lyle Lovett classic) through some altogether darker alternative country moments, with lovely tradition based and new folk acoustic numbers peppered throughout.

Other covers include Amos Lee’s “Night Train”, the recently departed Lou Reed's classic "Walk on the Wildside", an emotive “Marysville”- a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Victorian bushfires (Kevin Welch) and the poignant and beautiful “In my time of need” (Ryan Adams)

The album was recorded mostly at The Yearlings “My Sweet Mule” studio with Chris “Parkes” Parkinson at the reins - also contributing with some great trademark guitar and banjo playing, with partner Robyn Chalklen also delivering lovely backing vocals on Sleepy Sunday Town and If I had a Boat. Pete Arthur (Junior) assisted with recording and edits at Pete’s Shed with partner Kerrie (Rustflower) adding percussion, together with Alan Matthews. Scott Davis (Oakley Studios) also contributed to the 'Wild Side" remix both recording wise and on keys . David Rose (The Chines) plays some mighty fine cello - check out “In my time of need” and “Island #2 Reprise” and “BJ” Barker (Huckleberry Swedes) weaves his percussive magic throughout, with Corey Stewart, David, Pete and Parkes all adding various basslines . Emma Luker (Fiddle Chicks) plays a sweet violin on “The Road that will lead you home” as does Davey Lambert (The Legends) on “One Summer in Ireland". Martin Suter puts the the sax into the Lou Reed classic with Georgie Rochow and Kylie Wilson nailing it as the coloured girls. In the end its really been a highly collaborative project and possibly Steve's best effort to date.

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