Blue Highway Band Members
"Bad to the Bluegrass bone ..." That's one die-hard bluegrass fan's description of Blue Highway's force on the five string, Jason Burleson. With a genuine gift for vocals, picking, and songwriting, Jason's finesse and skill on the five make him one of the most explosive and dynamic banjo players in the genre. Jason is a native of Newland, NC, and a founding member of Blue Highway. The Jason Burleson Signature Spirit Banjo by Prucha Bluegrass Instruments was unveiled in the Fall of 2015 and is available for purchase on the Prucha website.
The Grammy-winning Tim Stafford co-founded Blue Highway and is a gifted songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, producer, session musician and collegiate instructor, who added author to his list of accolades with the 2010 release of "Still Inside," an acclaimed Tony Rice biography co-authored with Caroline Wright. A former member of world-renowned Alison Krauss and Union Station, Tim released his second solo album, "Just to Hear the Whistle Blow," in July 2014 to rave reviews and immediate chart action. Stafford was honored as the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus in the Arts by the National Alumni Association of East Tennessee State University. He also received honors as 2014 and 2017 IBMA Songwriter of the Year, and 2015 SPBGMA Guitar Player of the Year.
One of three powerhouse lead vocalists in Blue Highway, Wayne Taylor is often credited with giving Blue Highway its "inimitable" sound. Taylor is a highly respected vocalist, songwriter, and bass player, earning honors as SPBGMA Bass Player of the Year in 2001. Wayne was recently honored as the 2016 Inductee into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, alongside legends such as Patsy Cline, The Statler Brothers, and Roy Clark. Taylor's songs have filled Blue Highway's albums from the band's first release in 1995, with songs from the rollicking Riding the Danville Pike to the toe-tapping Lonesome Pine and Talk is Cheap, to the deep perennial fan-favorites Keen Mountain Prison, No Home to Go Home To, That Could Be You, Homeless Man, Only Seventeen, and Seven Sundays In A Row, which was co-written by Kim Williams and Larry Shell and nominated as 2004 IBMA Song of the Year. Eighteen years of hauling coal in southwest Virginia gives Wayne's songwriting a depth and authenticity hard to match. The Virginia native is a founding member of Blue Highway and still proudly calls Virginia home.
Shawn is a fan-favorite vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter who was nominated as 2015 IBMA Songwriter of the Year. Blue Highway's heralded lead and high-tenor singer is as explosive on fiddle as he is on mandolin, often lending his talents to the Grammy-winning Earls of Leicester when not on the road with Blue Highway. Lane has penned songs such as the high octane title track of Blue Highway’s most recent album, “The Game,” a song co-written with Barry Bales which sent Blue Highway soaring to #1 atop multiple Bluegrass charts, including seven consecutive months on the national Bluegrass Unlimited Album Chart and three consecutive months at #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Song Chart. Shawn also wrote ten tracks included on his second solo album “Mountain Songs,” which was named the #19 Bluegrass Album of the Year by critic Daniel Mullins in his Top 20 Albums of 2014 list published in Bluegrass Today. Lane's first solo album "All For Today" was also heralded, being named one of the Top Ten Bluegrass Albums of the Year 2003 by CMT.
Shawn was nominated as 2015 IBMA Songwriter of the Year, and has written such perennial Blue Highway favorites as Tears Fell On Missouri, The Seventh Angel, V-Bottom Boat, Sycamore Hollow, and Sounds of Home, which was nominated as 2012 IBMA Song of the Year. Lane co-wrote Still Climbing Mountains and Born with a Hammer in My Hand (nominated as 2000 IBMA Song of the Year) with Tim Stafford, as well as the beloved A Mother's Prayer with Ronnie Bowman, which was recorded by the Grammy-winning Hall of Fame legend Dr. Ralph Stanley. Lane played in the bands of both Grammy-winner Ricky Skaggs and Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson prior to becoming a founding member of Blue Highway in 1994. Shawn was honored with a signature instrument, the Dearstone Shawn Lane Mandolin, handcrafted in Blountville, Tennessee, and available on the Dearstone website. Shawn and engineer friend Brad Poore launched the space age I-Tone Pick in 2016. The pick is made from the same material as the Space Shuttle, offering the highest durability ever offered in a flat pick, while dramatically increasing the tone, volume, and clarity of stringed instruments.
Justin Moses was announced as the newest member of Blue Highway on May 14, 2018. His first show with the band was at Dollywood on June 2, 2018.
"Justin Moses is arguably the most versatile and talented bluegrass musician working in the business today," said Blue Highway co-founder and GRAMMY winner Tim Stafford. "He can sing all parts, and is an accomplished instrumentalist on mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass, as well as Dobro."
Justin's resume sparkles with superstars and legends. Moses has lived a musician's dream, sharing the stage with icons such as Clint Black, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby, Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie, Jerry Douglas, Peter Frampton, and Barry Gibb. Justin appeared on the 2009 GRAMMY Nominated and IBMA Album of the Year winning release "Wheels" by Dan Tyminski, as well as "Music to My Ears" by Ricky Skaggs, among other prominent releases.
Moses married the beautiful, multi-talented sweetheart of bluegrass, Sierra Hull, in 2017, merging two powerhouse musical talents. Sierra is a well-loved, accomplished mandolin player and vocalist, and GRAMMY Nominee. Justin and Sierra have several duo shows on schedule in 2018.
Justin has toured with bands like Blue Moon Rising, NewFound Road, Band of Ruhks, The Dan Tyminski Band, and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. He has appeared on prominent television shows such as The Today Show, Conan, The Marty Stuart Show, and The Grand Ole Opry.
"I've had the good fortune to play with many of my heroes in the music business, but I'm truly beyond excited to have the opportunity to play with Blue Highway," said Justin Moses. "Blue Highway has been a favorite of mine since the first time I heard them play!"
"Justin is an absolute beast on any instrument you put in his hands!" said Jason Burleson, Blue Highway's force on the five.
"Justin is the dream band member - great guy, super talented on every instrument and vocal part, and dedicated," said Tim Stafford. "To say we're stoked to have him in the band is an understatement!"
Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, Shawn Lane, Jason Burleson and Rob Ickes were the founding members of Blue Highway.
Their first show as Blue Highway was in Kingsport, Tennessee, on December 31, 1994.
Prior to welcoming Gaven Largent as dobro player in December 2015, Blue Highway had only one other musician as a member of the band besides the original five founding members. Tom Adams played banjo from 1998-2000 during a brief hiatus of Jason Burleson.
TIM STAFFORD: 31 Dec 1994 - Present
WAYNE TAYLOR: 31 Dec 1994 - Present
SHAWN LANE: 31 Dec 1994 - Present
ROB ICKES: 31 Dec 1994 - 18 Nov 2015
JASON BURLESON: 31 Dec 1994 - July 1998; Sept 2000 - Present
TOM ADAMS: Aug 1998 - Aug 2000
GAVEN LARGENT: 1 Jan 2016 - May 25, 2018
JUSTIN MOSES: 2 Jun 2018 - Present