Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Colin James released his 18th album, Blue Highways, on October 14 via True North Records. The album was co-produced by Colin and Dave Meszaros (Wake Owl, Old Man Canyon) and recorded at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver. Blue Highways pays tribute to some of the singer/ guitarist’s longtime blues idols including Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Freddie King, Jr. Wells & Buddy Guy, Peter Green, Robert Johnson and William Bell to name a few.
In the Spring of 2015, Colin wrapped up his Hearts on Fire tour. After a couple of months of straight touring, Colin was loving playing with the band and really happy with the sound they had created on stage. What better time to make a record? Especially the record Colin had been itching to make for years – a collection of some of his favorite blues tracks. In less than a week Colin and his touring band went into The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver and in just 2 days, Blue Highways was born.
A diverse performer, writer and producer, Colin started his career as a protégé to the inimitable Stevie Ray Vaughan. He’s gone on to dominate the charts with his own brand of rock, blues, soul and even big band! The iconic artist has sold multi-platinum may times over and is a Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee.
Looking back over Colin’s career, it’s a timeline rich in highlights. His 1988 self-titled debut, featuring his two self-penned hits “Voodoo Thing” and “Five Long Years,” was the fastest-selling album in Canadian history. It won him his first Juno and an opening spot on tour with Keith Richards. His second album, Sudden Stop, featured his hit “Just Came Back,” which reached #3 on the U.S. radio charts and earned him the Juno Award for “Single of the Year.” Colin was next credited with launching the swing revival, thanks to his wildly popular Little Big Band, which has released four successful albums to date. He has performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Lenny Kravitz, Albert King, Mavis Staples, Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Mick Fleetwood and The Chieftains; had his songs recorded by artists such as: Lucinda Williams, Johnny Halliday and Maria Muldaur; and won a staggering 17 Maple Blues Awards. Even after 18 acclaimed albums, Colin remains at the top of his game, always challenging himself musically.
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Profile photo credit: James O’Mara