Jesse Colin Young

The Highway Is for Heroes

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Jesse Colin Young returned to record-making after five years with this modestly produced, largely acoustic effort, on which his singing had taken on a breathy expressivenes and his acoustic guitar-playing (doubtless due to years of playing solo shows) had become more dominant and accomplished. Despite the time between records, Young did not fill the album with new originals -- among the nine tracks, three (T-Bone Walker's "T-Bone Shuffle," "Do It Slow," and "Before You Came") were remakes, one ("When You Dance") was a cover, and two others were co-written. Those two -- the title track, which Young wrote with Wendy Waldman, and "The Haster," on which he collaboraed with Bill Cuomo -- were the most substantial new works. "The Highway Is for Heroes" made the road a metaphor for life, and "The Master" examined everything from domestic abuse to industrial waste in questioning the nature of power relationships. The album seemed a tentative, if promising comeback; unfortunately, Cypress's failure to promote it properly meant that it became an isolated release, and Young did not make another new album for six years. (Originally released in 1987 as Cypress 661-115, The Highway Is for Heroes has been reissued by Ridgetop Music.)

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