The outstanding debut from Canada's semi-legendary The Blue Shadows has just been re-released along with a bonus disc of outtakes, rarities and covers.
Centered on the dual lead vocals of Billy Cowsill and Jeffrey Hatcher, On the Floor of Heaven sounds as fresh today as when first heard in 1993, of course, that means it doesn't sound modern at all.
This is country-roots music with a rock 'n' roll heart, drenched in the complementary influences of Roy Orbison, The Everlys, The Louvins, and Hank Williams.
Cowsill's voice may never have sounded better than it did when he recorded with The Blue Shadows. There is an obvious richness within his singing that hints that he could have been one of the greats had his life taken a different path.
Remastered, On The Floor of Heaven doesn't sound remarkably different to my ears, maybe a bit brighter with a touch of reverb. The songs including alt-country classics like Deliver Me, When Will This Heartache End and The Fool is the Last One to Know - ring with intensity and harmonic magic. The bonus cuts range from the subline - A Little Bit Lonesome, A Little Bit Blue, Paper and A Promise, and Hell Stays Open All Night Long - to the classic takes on Joni Mitchell, Pagliaro, and Merle Haggard.
No collection of roots rock is complete without The Blue Shadows; the beautifully packaged, deluxe edition goes a long way to reestablishing their place within the annals of the Canadian music scene.