Newspaper Articles

Recently Reviewed
The Blue Shadows On The Floor Of Heaven
by Kerry Doole
June 2010


Canadian country music in the early '90s was a depressing place, populated by acts aping the mainstream banality of the Nashville product. A rare beacon in the darkness were Vancouver, BC's the Blue Shadows. Their 1993 debut, On The Floor Of Heaven, never topped any charts, but has become a cult classic, inspiring a younger alt-country generation. Long out-of-print, it now gets the reissue treatment it deserves. There's nothing dusty about its sound today, one simultaneously retro and timeless. The band were built around the songwriting and vocal partnership of American Billy Cowsill (yes, of family popsters the Cowsills fame) and Western roots rocker Jeffrey Hatcher. At the band's heart are the bittersweet, seamless vocal harmonies of the pair, recalling the Everly Brothers at their peak. Hatcher's fluent guitar and the duo's sparse, clean production frame Cowsill's haunting, high'n'lonesome voice, while the steel work of Greg Leisz (k.d. lang) shimmers on honky-tonk ballads "The Embers" and the title track. The duo's songwriting talent burns bright, with the '60s pop feel of some of their melodies nicely complementing the country rock vibe of other tunes. An enjoyable bonus CD features some strong, previously unreleased material alongside spirited covers of Joni's "Raised On Robbery," Pagliaro's Can-rock classic "What The Hell I Got" and Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December." A fitting tribute to Cowsill, who died in 2006. (Bumstead)

Email Me 6/9/10 Home