Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Acclaimed bluegrass band plays Monday


The Haines Arts Council will present the bluegrass band Blue Highway 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Chilkat Center.

  Blue Highway will be traveling to Haines from the Yukon, after performing as a headliner at the annual Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Whitehorse, Y.T.

  Tom Heywood, president of the Haines Arts Council, said that Blue Highway is one of America’s longest-running bluegrass bands. The band, from Kingsport, Tenn., has been together for 17 years and includes the five members who formed it in 1994. 

  Blue Highway has 10 albums, including two nominated for Grammy awards. “They have great vocals, great instrumentalization…and fantastic songwriting,” said Heywood, who has seen past performances. 

  PopMatters describes the band’s songs as “pensive narratives filled with heartaching nostalgia” while Freight Train Boogie states that the “soulful vocals convey the emotions of deeply lived life.” 

Blue Highway has won multiple awards from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America as well as numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards.

  Heywood pointed out that Rob Ickes, the group’s Dobro player, has won a record-breaking 13 IBMA awards, more than any other instrumentalist. Other members include guitarist and vocalist Tim Stafford; singer, fiddler and mandolinist Shawn Lane; bassist Wayne Taylor and banjo and guitar player Jason Burleson.         

  Tickets are available at The Babbling Book and will be available at the door.