Blue Water Highway Band
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Blue Water Highway Band's Things We Carry effortlessly backs elegant wordplay ("Hard Time Train") with energetic melodies ("Medicine Man"). Sharp songwriting guides the entire journey ("Highway to Glory"). Songs stick. They resonate. Listen closely. You'll hear. "These songs show how we deal with struggles and joys," frontman Zack Kibodeaux says, "and they deal with everything from heavy topics like depression from the loss of a child to the highs and lows of romantic relationships." Chief songwriters Greg Essington and Zack Kibodeaux, who raised funds for the record through a hometown Gulf Coast concert, fuel complex harmonies with operatic elegance. Results are stunning.
Folks notice. "Zack Kibodeaux and Greg Essington of the Blue Water Highway Band are some of the best vocalists I've heard in a long time," says pioneering singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix. "Their delivery, timing, lyrics, and harmonies and overall musicianship make them the real deal. On top of it all, they are good guys and true professionals. Simply put, I was blown away with their live show." Legendary multi-instrumentalist and producer Lloyd Maines echoes the sentiment: "The Blue Water Highway Band is the best new band that I've heard in years. Their vocals are spot on and their writing is smart and thoughtful. They're very serious and impressive musicians''
Remember those words: smart and thoughtful. The current Kyle, Texas residents prove over ("The Running") and again ("John Henry") they're seamless narrative storytellers. The pair frequently double down on the ancient American tradition of giving a voice to the struggles and triumphs of the people they love in a partnership that began simply enough: by swapping songs and discovering a singular style. "People say we have a sonic landscape like a Depression-era radio being played on a Brazos River steamboat. I'd liken it to the strange effect of a bluesy, soul-infused Hank Williams time traveling and stealing a Ryan Adams cover of a Guy Clark song about the Gulf Coast," Essington says.
Accordingly, the songs themselves span broad landscapes. " 'The Running' is an underdog story from three perspectives about how one deals with working hard for something and not making it," Kibodeaux explains. "And 'John Henry' is our take on the classic underdog folk tale. "The title track sort of ties the album together. It tells the story of an encounter with a muse-like character (an old-time movie star) who uses the phrase ''things we carry'' with a bit of a twist, as if to say we are carrying each other along, helping each other with our problems.''