The Blue Shadows
On the Floor of Heaven
As a fan of alt-country music, I like to think that I keep pretty good track of any good music from that genre that comes down the pike. I have to admit though, that when The Blue Shadows originally released its debut album, "On the Floor of Heaven," in 1993, I completely missed it.
I'm guessing that you did, too, because that album, now considered by many to be one of the finest examples of alt-country, was never released in the U.S.
The band formed in Vancouver in the 1990s and featured Billy Cowsill, formerly of the 1970s pop group The Cowsills. Now, nearly two decades later, someone finally saw fit to release the album here in the States.
After reading the press release for the CD, which made liberal use of the term "legendary," I was skeptical. Surely, there was a reason this project never made it out of the Great White North. Happily though, this one seems to live up to the hype. Twangy in all the right places, Cowsill and his band mates roll through a dozen tunes that would make Gram Parsons nod in approval if he were still here with us.
A deluxe version of the album features a second disc full of outtakes, covers and rarities, including a great take on Joni Mitchell's "Raised on Robbery." Kudos to whoever finally thought to release this alt-country gem in the U.S.
Key tracks: "The Fool is the Last One to Know," "If We Make It Through December," "Raised on Robbery."