Classic Blue Shadows Album Finally Getting US Release

Throughout the history of popular music, there have been albums, that for one reason or another (timing, bad luck, etc.), were never given their proper respect at the time of their release.

Legendary Americana/roots band The Blue Shadows was a perfect case in point, especially for American audiences, where music buyers never even got the chance to purchase their 1993 debut album, as it was not released in the U.S.

Now, Bumstead Productions, Ltd. is rectifying that omission with the June 15 U.S. release of a special 2-CD reissue of The Blue Shadows classic, On the Floor of Heaven: Deluxe Edition. U.S. Distribution for the 2-CD set will be by Burnside Distribution, with a special list price of $15.99, while Fontana Distribution will handle the album for its Canadian re-release on June 1st. Bumstead Productions is the same label that launched the iconic k.d. lang's career in Canada.

On the Floor of Heaven is considered by many of those who got to hear it upon its initial release in 1993 as one of the great, unheralded achievements of the alt-country movement. Without a release in the United States, however, the album's brilliant harmonies, twangy guitars and insightful original songs were unknown to potential American fans, except to those who'd heard about the music and the band from their Canadian counterparts.

Formed in Vancouver in the early 1990s, The Blue Shadows consisted of singer/guitarist Billy Cowsill, who began his career as leader of the legendary pop group The Cowsills (of "Rain, the Park and Other Things" fame); and Canadian roots rocker Jeffrey Hatcher, who enjoyed cult success in Canada fronting Jeffrey Hatcher & the Big Beat. Along with drummer J.B. Johnson and bassist Elmar Spanier (later replaced by Barry Muir), the quartet forged a style built on the rustic harmony sounds of classic honky-tonk country, fused with the pop sensibility of The Beatles and tight harmony vocals that have drawn flattering comparisons to the Everly Brothers.

Despite releasing two albums, garnering critical raves and touring extensively in Canada and limited dates in the U.S., The Blue Shadows never managed to reach beyond a wildly devoted cult following, and they broke up in 1996. Billy Cowsill passed away in February 2006, and one of his last wishes was for a reissue of On the Floor of Heaven so it could find a wider audience.

On the Floor of Heaven: Deluxe Edition includes the original 12-track album with re-mastered audio; a second 12-track disc with outtakes, rare cuts and a number of covers the group would perform live, originally recorded by such artists as George Jones, Merle Haggard, Arthur Alexander, and Joni Mitchell; plus all-new Digipak packaging. In addition, a detailed history of the band written by noted Americana music writer Paul Cantin and song-by-song notes written by Jeffrey Hatcher will be available soon on the web site, http://bumstead.com/theblueshadows.

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