On the Floor of Heaven (Bumstead Productions)
Fans of alt-country rock will celebrate the reissue of The Blue Shadows’ On the Floor of Heaven.
Strange how an album that sounded retro in 1993 now sounds as fresh as a loaf of bread hot out of the oven.
The two-disc Deluxe Edition features a remaster of the original dozen tracks, in addition to another dozen outtakes and covers of songs by George Jones, Merle Haggard and Joni Mitchell, among others.
In the early 1990s Billy Cowsill (yes, of the American bubblegumers The Cowsills) teamed up with Canadian roots rocker Jeffrey Hatcher, along with drummer J.B. Johnson and bassist Elmar Spanier, to form The Blue Shadows. The Vancouver-based group only recorded two albums before disbanding in 1996.
The reissue of On the Floor of Heaven boasts inspired songwriting and arrangements built around wonderfully invigorating harmonies by Cowsill and Hatcher. The haunting title track and Is Anybody Here will give you shivers.
Even though Cowsill died in Calgary in 2006, it’s not too late for the Blue Shadows to cast a longer — and much deserving — shadow across the Canadian musical landscape.