Blue Highway - Sounds Of Home
  • Hammer Down
  • Sounds Of Home
  • Bluebird Days
  • Restless Workin' Man
  • Heather And Billy
  • Storm
  • Roaring Creek
  • Only Seventeen
  • If You Got Something To Say
  • My Heart Was Made To Love You
  • Nobody's Fault But Mine
  • Drinkin' From A Deeper Well
  • Hammer Down
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:43) [6.22 MB]
  • Sounds Of Home
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:59) [9.11 MB]
  • Bluebird Days
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:53) [6.6 MB]
  • Restless Workin' Man
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:05) [7.06 MB]
  • Heather And Billy
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:34) [5.88 MB]
  • Storm
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:36) [5.97 MB]
  • Roaring Creek
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:49) [6.47 MB]
  • Only Seventeen
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:46) [8.64 MB]
  • If You Got Something To Say
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:40) [6.12 MB]
  • My Heart Was Made To Love You
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:13) [7.35 MB]
  • Nobody's Fault But Mine
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:36) [8.26 MB]
  • Drinkin' From A Deeper Well
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:40) [8.39 MB]
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Blue Highway
Sounds Of Home
Rounder 11661-9107-2

1. I Ain’t Gonna Lay My Hammer Down 2:42
2. Sounds of Home 3:59
3. Bluebird Days 2:53
4. Restless Working Man 3:04
5. Heather and Billy 2:33
6. Storm 2:36
7. Roaring Creek 2:49
8. Only Seventeen 3:46
9. If You’ve Got Something to Say 2:40
10. My Heart was Made to Love You 3:12
11. Nobody’s Fault but Mine 3:36
12. Drinking from a Deeper Well 3:39

UPC number 011661910720

(p) & © 2011 Rounder Records. Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group, Inc., 100 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. Printed in the U.S.A.;

A bluegrass band that has the same five members it started with more than fifteen years ago has achieved something remarkable, but so has a bluegrass band that’s created its third set of original material. Put those two accomplishments together, then, and you’ve got something truly special. And sure enough, the easiest thing to say about Blue Highway is that they’re profoundly unique—one of the most immediately recognizable groups ever to walk into a recording studio and come out with a finished album.

Sounds Of Home arrives one long decade after Blue Highway’s first all-original collection, Still Climbing Mountains. Yet while it underlines just how right—and still how rare—that step forward was, it’s not just more of the same, not even in the most bird’s-eye view (and not only because it includes one stunningly creative arrangement of a song from the folk tradition). Indeed, to hear how far Sounds Of Home is from the earlier album (or even from their more recent Through The Window Of A Train) is to be reminded that a step, no matter how big it is, isn’t a journey. If the Blue Highway of 2011 could not have made this album without having made those others, it’s equally true that the Blue Highway that made those albums could not have made Sounds Of Home. Creativity, this album says, isn’t a steady state; it’s a process, one that ebbs and flows with the years, touching on familiar sounds and themes but finding new ones, too.

Blue Highway have always been notable for the way they reach beyond the usual bluegrass subjects, but this album is especially rich in the variety of directions that it reaches, and in the maturity of its treatments. Who besides Shawn Lane would write a song like “Storm,” or bring to life the haunting meditation of the title track? Who but Wayne Taylor could be counted on to come up with the quintessential details that punch home the lament of “Only Seventeen?” Can’t you tell from the very first lines of “Heather And Billy” that Tim Stafford and frequent writing partner Steve Gulley are bringing just the right kind of sensitivity and thoughtfulness to a story at once heartbreaking and inspirational? Listening to this set, such questions are no sooner asked than they’re answered.

Similarly, while there are no startling new directions in the playing and singing on Sounds Of Home, there’s an unmistakably new depth and confidence that can only come with years of shared music making. Look at the masterful way each song is framed, the careful choice of instrumentation and arrangement, the thoughtful approach to vocals—still more hallmarks of a unique approach. It would be easy, for instance, for each man to sing his own songs, but the easy way isn’t the Blue Highway way. Rather, each song is served up by the best singers for the job, regardless of whose pen they came from. Similarly, it would be understandable if the playing of an award-winner like Rob Ickes or under-appreciated master Jason Burleson got in the way of the nuances of a song—but what makes their playing truly great is that it’s always in service of the material and meaning, underlining rather than overshadowing. And in an age when it sometimes seems like every song is guaranteed to be delivered by a trio, to hear the deft alternation between trios, solos and duets—and the swift but measured intelligence informing instrumental solos and accompaniment alike—that characterize each of these selections provides a kind of enjoyment and engagement that can only be delivered by a group that has a profound grasp of how to stand apart from the crowd.

Even in the world of bluegrass, where trends and fads don’t have quite the same sway they do in more popular genres, there’s been a growing tendency to focus on the Next Big Thing, or on artists who bring some easily digestible new story or some easy-to-grasp new musical mannerism to the table, or on a single-minded emphasis on one sliver of the music’s rich tradition. And maybe that’s human nature—or, at least, the nature of our society in the early 21st century. But it’s one that ought to be resisted, because it makes it too easy for us to miss what’s most remarkable about Sounds Of Home. Focus on the simple fact of the band’s longevity and you’ll miss what that year-in, year-out experience of playing together has actually done for the music; concentrate on the simple fact of their reliance on original songs and you’ll miss the growing depth and complexity of the songwriting and the way it weaves together the old and the new; highlight the virtuosity of its members and you’ll miss the way that they work together, never afraid to tackle hard passages, but always in service of the material.

Ultimately, then, what makes Blue Highway so great, and this album so special, is that they are a band—not only in the way the word is used with respect to a musical ensemble, but in a larger sense, in the way it’s used in phrases like “band of brothers.” That they wouldn’t have become one without the music is an inescapable fact—but equally inescapable is the fact that it’s taken more than just music and talent to make Blue Highway into what they are today, respected, admired and loved by an entire community of artists and fans alike. And really, why would anyone want to escape those facts? Here they are, embedded in some profound, powerful and purely enjoyable music—the Sounds Of Home indeed.

--Jon Weisberger, Cottontown, TN, June, 2011

Produced by Blue Highway
Engineered by Jim Price
Engineer Assistant: Alan Maggard
Recorded at Maggard Sound, Big Stone Gap, VA
Mixed by Jim Price
Photography by Kimberly Miller (
Design by Devon Guillery
Mastered by Paul Blakemore at CMG Mastering

Blue Highway

Tim Stafford guitar, vocals
Wayne Taylor bass, vocals
Shawn Lane mandolin, guitar, fiddle, vocals
Rob Ickes Dobro, lap steel guitar
Jason Burleson banjo, guitar, mandolin


Blue Highway would like to thank: Jim Price, Alan Maggard, Betty Wheeler, Kim Miller, Rick and Libby Huschka, Tony Rice, Keith Case and Associates, Al and Heidi File
Blue Highway uses and endorses D’Addario Strings (
Website by Virginia Lawrence,

Rob Ickes would like to thank: Jen, Janelle, Neal, Mom and Dad, all the Ickes and Hansen families, Betty Wheeler, Dwight Worden and all the great folks at Resosummit!!, United States Artists, Peter and Julie Cummings, Michael Alvey, Moore Elementary School, Tim Scheerhorn, Abe Wechter, John Everhart, and Matt Blackett.
Rob plays Scheerhorn Resonator Guitars, Beanstock Lap Steel Guitar, and uses Blue Chip Thumbpicks, Scheerhorn Bars, BP Fingerpicks, Shertler Pickups, Walworth Capos. His instructional books and videos, Reso-supplies and the Rob Ickes Model Wechter Scheerhorn Resonator Guitar are available at

Jason Burleson would like to thank: Shelly and Jacob for being the best family anyone could ever ask for... I love you both! Tony Rice, Rachel Johnson, Jennifer Murphy, Sam and Lynn Bush, Adam and Tina Steffey, Terry and Cindy Baucom, Scott Vestal, Stephen Mougin, Mike Ramsey, Keith Garrett, Henri DesChamps, Bireli Lagrene, Alice Chadwell, Barry Bales, Lynn and Ethan Church and all the Staff at Avery Hardware Store, Holly Phillips, Melissa Moody, Tim and Danny Carter, Adina Hertzberg, Kenny Johnson, Big Al Johnson, Barry and Jill Crabtree, Mike Kelly, Noam Pikelney, Chris Eldridge, Chris Pandolfi, David Grisman, Sam Grisman, The Punch Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Larry Hicks, Ray Dearstone, Bill Bowman, Terri Sokolow, The Burleson Family, Johnny Wayne, Jackie and Gabe Hughes, Mike and Kathy Greene, Bryan Dunaway, All my dogs, (past and present)... All my music students... All my brothers in Blue Highway... Thanks for asking me to be a part of the band, not once, but twice... and to God for the gift of music.
Jason endorses Huber and Gibson banjos, Gibson and Dearstone mandolins and Hicks and Composite Acoustics guitars.

Tim Stafford would like to thank: Daniel and Trish Stafford, Bernice Stafford, Colleen and Steve Goins, Lois East, Carla and Don Clifft, Steve Gulley, Tony Rice, Kim Miller, Ashley Stair Taylor, Kim Roulias, Kim Kennedy Thames, Jon Weisberger, Bob Minner, Bobby and Connie Starnes, Johnny Burton, Caroline Wright, Craig Market, Pam Tillis, Jason Duke, Steven Ruffo, John Rossbach, Cindy Sinclair, Dan Miller, and the Blue Highway family.
Tim plays Martin, Henderson, Proulx, Dearstone, Composite Acoustics and Mike Long guitars, and endorses TKL cases and Blue Chip picks. His instructional and performance books and videos are available at The Tony Rice biography Still Inside is available at

Shawn would like to thank: God for his Patience, Guidance, and Love. Gracie, Grayson, & Garrett Lane, Butch & Kathy Lane, The Vissage, Burch, & Lane Families, Gerald Ellenburg, Chris Brady, Chad & Farrah Lane, Tom & Jane Burch, Marcus Smith, Buddy Brock, Ronnie Bowman, Rick Hayes, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Sierra Hull, Jeff Brown, Ray Dearstone, Larry & Allen Hicks, Barry Bales, Clay Hess, Rick Pendleton, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Stewart, Kenny Chesney, Bob Minner, Mike Kelly, Guys in the band for 16 great years of music & memories, and too many other friends to list. I know how blessed I am to have all the above.
Shawn endorses Dearstone Mandolins, Hicks Instruments, Hayes guitars, Whaley mandolins, and Blue Chip Picks.

Wayne Taylor would like to thank: Sherry Taylor, Eugene Taylor, Freda Taylor, Alex Finglass, Lacy Moraes, and Mark Handy.
Wayne plays Kay and Clevenger basses.

Jim Price would like thank Debbie, Jim & Kitty Price, Alan & Charlie Maggard, Larry Blevins (VA Mountain Studios), John Peluso (Peluso Microphone Lab), Jason Crawford & Bobby Starnes.

This album is dedicated to the memory of Houston Caldwell, Brother Dave Jackson, Gaines Stafford, Herb Greene, Harley Allen, Hazel Dickens, and to Charlie Maggard.

I Ain’t Gonna Lay My Hammer Down
(Shawn Lane, Barry Bales/Cat Town Music, BMI, Quackhead Music, BMI)

Well I’ve lived through a lot of bad news
But I aint about to let it get me down
Walk through these blues is all I can do
I’m gonna stand up straight and hold my ground

There’s one thing about it I aint gonna turn back now
And I aint gonna lay my hammer down on the ground
I aint gonna lay my hammer down

I’ll ride on down to Birmingham town
Just anywhere to get me outa here
It’s too soon to say if I’ll see a better day
Or when I’ll shed that last blue lonesome tear

My hands are tied her love has died
There’s nothing I can do about it now
I won’t stay here and waste another year
Might work out for the better anyhow

© Cat Town Music, 2011
© Quackhead Music, 2011

Sounds Of Home
(Shawn Lane/Cat Town Music, BMI)
Shawn: guitar
Jason: mandolin

The rain on the roof
The skreakin’ of the stairs
The sound of the chilly winter mornin’ air
As the wind would rustle up the leaves
And Leave ‘em round the door
And how we used to walk around
The squeaks in the floor
I never noticed until it all was gone
But I miss the sounds of home

Sounds of home, the ones I took for granted
The sounds of home the ones callin’ me
Things I used to listen to while I was thinking
Of a better place to be

The whistle of a train through a November night
The songs of a mockingbird in the July mornin’ light
And stayin’ up way too late waitin’ for a snow to fall
The silence right before the dawn
And a lonesome hoot owl call
It’s like longing to hear your favorite song
And I miss the sounds of home

© Cat Town Music, 2011

Bluebird Days
(Tim Stafford, Craig Market/Daniel House Music, BMI, Drop D Publishing, BMI, )

Bluebird Days, the way I remember them
Fly fly away at summer's end
Remember my friend
Till they come around again

Frozen in my memory, the day that I met you
I saw the end of winter in a flash of powder blue
Did I hear you say that he was carrying the sky upon his back?

Now the nights are getting colder and the days are not so long
I think about you every time I hear that song
I'll be waiting if you find your way back home to me again

© Drop D Publishing, 2011
© Daniel House Music, 2011

Restless Working Man
(Shawn Lane/Cat Town Music, BMI)

I am a restless workin man
My Time don’t belong to me
My life is a worried song
If you vision a troubled life then I’m the man you’ll see
Burnin’ sun shines down on me
Summer days until its gone
On highways across the land
Mine are the hands that bled to build the road you’re on

My Hands burn by the shovel
My back by the sun
One day I’ll find the courage
To lay it down and run

The ones at home depend on me
To keep ‘em fed and make their way
In my mind that’s who I see
When I’m lookin for the reasons I suffer every day
So I’ll load my shovel up again
My body growin weaker still
I’ll try to make another mile
Givin up my life because I got no time to kill

© Cat Town Music, 2011

Heather And Billy
(Steve Gulley, Tim Stafford/Gulley's Curve Music, BMI, Daniel House Music, BMI)

Heather and Billy only had one son of their own
But you hardly ever saw him playing all alone
Some were abandoned, some abused, some neglected, others used
But every Monday’s child felt at home, never alone

Sad-eyed Samantha, she’s only six years old
But she tells you things a kid should never know
How she cried herself to sleep, and prayed the Lord her soul to keep
It’s a wonder she’s standing here today, God made a way

Never thinking of themselves, just how to care for someone else
A quiet home just never was their style
Can’t say they had a vision, or something more profound
Truth is they just couldn’t turn ‘em down

Heather and Billy, they’re just like me and you
But look a little closer and you’ll learn a thing or two
How to love, how to grieve, How to make yourself believe
When Billy says we’re gonna make it through, we always do

© Gulley's Curve Music, 2011
© Daniel House Music, 2011

(Shawn Lane/Cat Town Music, BMI)
Shawn: guitar
Jason: mandolin

I’ve seen your face somewhere before
But I don’t recall your name
Was it something different that you wore
The color of the snow or the rain

Well you don’t look like you got good news
Are you here to bring me down?
Well if hurtin’s what you came to do
Then you might as well move on to another town

So Storm take your best shot at me
But you don’t stand a chance
Cause I pray to the one above you
And he guides you with his hand
Lord put your arms around us
Help us to be strong
Cause you’re the only one
That can let us see the dawn when the storm is gone

Don’t know why you’re still at my door
Cause I know who you are now
I’ll tell you like I said before
I ain’t about to let you bring me down

© Cat Town Music, 2011

Roaring Creek
(Jason Burleson/Terrible Twos Music, BMI)
Shawn: fiddle

Only Seventeen
(Wayne Taylor/Forty W.A.T. Music, BMI)

Down in this place of endless night
By the pale blue glow of a carbide light
Where your next breath could be your last
Taken by a roof fall, or methane gas

He was just a young boy, only seventeen
With a heart filled with life and a head filled with dreams
Biding his time down in the ground
Until one night he heard that awful sound

The timbers cracked as the top came in
He the cries and prayers of some mighty men
Saying “God have mercy on our poor souls,
Must we all perish for this seam of coal?”

It’s been fifty years since those lives were lost
But in a miner’s world there’s still an awful cost
No one knows for sure, but many men have seen
The pale figure of a miner, only seventeen

© Forty W.A.T. Music, 2011

If You’ve Got Something to Say
(Tim Stafford, Jon Weisberger/Daniel House Music, BMI, Use Your Words Music, BMI)

Lately you been acting like there's something on your mind
Tell me would you like to clear the air
It's hard for me to reach you when you're preoccupied
Honey that won't get you anywhere

But If You've Got Something to Say
Come right out and say it, I'll find out anyway
Don't put off till tomorrow what you oughtta do today
If You Got Something to Say

Yesterday you told me that you lost your wedding ring
Today I found it tucked inside your purse
You say that you still love me, Baby that don't mean a thing
Empty words only make it worse

But If You've Got Something to Say
Come right out and say it, I'll find out anyway
Don't let me go on living in this dream of yesterday
If You Got Something to Say

If you really think it's over
You don't need an alibi
I can take the truth but I can't take a lie

But If You've Got Something to Say
Come right out and say it, I'll find out anyway
Don't keep me in the dark until you make your getaway
If You Got Something to Say

Don't make me wait forever Babe, you know I'm turning gray
If You Got Something to Say

© Use Your Words Music, 2011
© Daniel House Music, 2011

My Heart Was Made to Love You
(Wayne Taylor/Forty W.A.T. Music, BMI)
Rob: lap steel guitar
Jason: guitar

The sun was made to shine, a mountain made to climb
And love was made to last a lifetime through
The world was made to turn, a fire was made to burn
And my heart, my heart was made to love you

I believe what is to be will be
No one can stop my loving you, or you loving me

A river’s made to flow, the moon was made to glow
And heaven knows God made the rose to bloom
A bird was made to fly, stars to light the night
And my heart, my heart was made to love you

© Forty W.A.T. Music, 2011

Nobody's Fault but Mine
(Public Domain, arranged Blue Highway)
Shawn: fiddle

Nobody's Fault but Mine, Nobody's Fault but Mine
If I should die and my soul be lost, it be Nobody's Fault but Mine

My Momma she taught me how to pray, my Momma taught me how to pray
so If I should die and my soul be lost, it be Nobody's Fault but Mine

Poppa he taught me how to pray, Poppa he taught me how to pray
so If I should die and my soul be lost, it be Nobody's Fault but Mine

Nobody's Fault but Mine, Nobody's Fault but Mine
If I should die and my soul be lost, it be Nobody's Fault but Mine

Drinking from a Deeper Well
(Tim Stafford, Bob Minner/Daniel House Music, BMI, Missouriboy Music, BMI)
Jason: guitar

Grocery line headlines
all kinds of stop signs
Do it now deadlines
were bringing me down

My way of living
was taking not giving
the art of forgiving
was short in supply

These days I listen
for what I've been missing
Like stories my son wants to tell
I've learned how to slow down
Every day I'm above ground
I'm Drinking from a Deeper Well

Today's all we're living
tomorrow's not given
but riches are hidden
in everyday life

So find your own reason
and there'll be a season
keep on believing
and drink till you're full

sweet inspiration
simple salvation
Drinking from a Deeper Well

© Missouriboy Music, 2011
© Daniel House Music, 2011

Also available:
Rounder 11661-0489-2 Still Climbing Mountains
Rounder 11661-0524-2 Wondrous Love
Rounder 11661-0538-2 Big Time (Rob Ickes with Blue Highway)
Rounder 11661-0558-2 Marbletown
Rounder 11661-0594-2 Through the Window of a Train
Rounder 11661-0633-2 Some Day: The Fifteenth Anniversary Collection

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