Blue Highways

Colin James

True North Records 2016

Review by David Bowling


Blues artists Colin James may not be a household name in the United States but in his native Canada, he is a Hall Of Fame guitarist who has won six Juno Awards and 17 Maple Blues Awards. He has now issued his 18th album titled Blue Highways.

His new release was recorded in less than a week, which is not necessarily a bad thing for a blues album as it gives the music an organic feel.

It is an album of blues covers, which are taken from several different eras. Peter Green’s “Watch Out,” “Going Down” by Don Nix, Robert Johnson’s “Last Fair Deal,” Blind Willie McTell’s “Ain’t Long For Day,” and the Howlin’ Wolf/Jimmy Reed Medley of “Racing In The Moonlight/Mr. Luck” are an interesting and precise ride though blues history.

Through it all vocalist/guitarist James leads his band of drummer  Geoff Hicks, bassist Steve Pelletier, keyboardist Jesse O’Brien, and rhythm guitarist Craig Northey with passion, energy, and technical expertise.

Blue Highways is a prime example of why Colin James is so respected in his native country. It will hopefully gain him some new adherants in the United States. It is music worth  exploring.


Rating: ***1/2