Blue Highway

My intent from the beginning of this CD was to create a Blues album that reflected the type of song I learned during my teen years in Shreveport, Louisiana and Omaha, Nebraska. I remember listening to Howling Wolf, BB King, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Reading on a small transistor radio in the middle of the night as a young bass player. I can still remember listening and playing music with local Bluesmen in Shreveport.

After moving to Omaha, Nebraska, I remember carefully placing vinyl records on a small record player and then reading the album jacket notes of iconic Cream and Blind Faith albums while studying the phrasing of Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. Those memories shaped the nature and form of the songs on this album. I started work on this CD in the fall of 2016, completed the work in the summer of 2017.

Many of the songs created for this CD were built on a 16 or 24 measure pattern, rather than the traditional 12 measure pattern. For my style of phrasing, the longer patterns work better. I then developed hooks and sonic phrasing to provide a firm definition for each song. The hooks may be presented by the bass, the rhythm guitar, or the lead guitar, but they are present in almost every song.  Then, the songs were brought to life with messaging drawn from my blues phrase library. My goal was to present a strong rich core of urban blues reflecting my influences from the Shreveport and Texarkana region.

By early spring, I created 34 songs. After careful listening, the collection was reduced to 28 tunes, and then trimmed the list to the 20 songs I felt were suitable for the CD. I had a lot of fun building this set of songs, 78 minutes of reflective urban blues to help pass the day at work or provide a soft backdrop to an afternoon of yard work on a sleepy Saturday afternoon. Blue Highway includes:

  1. Chilled Eyes
  2. Road Noise
  3. Thin Smile
  4. Blue Highway
  5. Tossed Aside
  6. Too Lonesome
  7. Knucklehead
  8. Cold Hands
  9. Heart Fidelity
  10. True View
  11. Anybody Knows
  12. Deep Tears
  13. Cash Poor
  14. Pulling Weeds
  15. Motor Mouth
  16. Feelings Lost
  17. Warm Water
  18. Looking Ahead
  19. End of the Line
  20. Hiding Stuff