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The Blue Shadows' Debut Sees the Light of Day
by Craig Shelburne
June 15, 2010


I've been listening to the debut album by the Blue Shadows for the last few months, but I still feel like I'm behind the curve. That's because this alt-country gem, titled On the Floor of Heaven, was released in their native Canada in 1993 -- but never in the U.S. until this week. If you're an Americana fan, you'll understand me when I say it reminds me of the Jayhawks and Blue Rodeo, while country fans might draw comparisons to the Everly Brothers and Dwight Yoakam. Heavy on honky-tonk harmony, nearly all of the songs are often inspired by classic country. (Lots of regret.) In that way, it's timeless, but it also reminds me of the pop stuff I was listening to in the mid 90s, like Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience and Tom Petty's Wildflowers. (You can see the music video for one of my favorite tracks, "Deliver Me," on the label's website, and hear several tunes from the reissue.) Founding member Billy Cowsill died in 2006, but not before making a last wish that On the Floor of Heaven would be reissued to a find a wider audience. I'm grateful for that, because there's no way I would have ever found this album otherwise. For Americana acolytes and curious country fans, it's definitely worth a return to the spotlight.

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