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Blue Line Highway

Life in a Minor Key

(Lost Cat; US: 2007; UK: Unavailable)

This Virginia band would fall off the Indigo Girls wagon in a heartbeat, especially if one uses the leadoff song “Deliver” as a measuring stick. Rooted in folk yet with subtle pop overtones, the band is lead by the pretty vocals of Julia Dooley with harmonies by Melissa McKenna. But at times the band opts for a soulful flavor, as is the case with the percussion-fuelled title track. The problem with a few songs here is they are too long, opting for a fleshed out arrangement when one isn’t really necessary during “River Canyon” and especially on the nearly eight-minute “Bound”. Blue Line Highway are better than average, though, with “Green Haze” having a roots-y flow from start to finish, and the impressive, train-chugging “Heart Around”. The group rounds the record out with a rather decent but not impressive “Valentine” that closes nicely and “Everybody Knows”, which shows another Americana, toe-tapping side to the band.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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