BlackHawk Is Bringing the ’90s Back With New ‘Blue Highway’ Album

by Jim Casey

Remember the 10-year stretch in the 1990s when bands ruled the country music world? It’s when both music and hair mattered, as equals. Flowing manes, and ballads for days. Alabama, Sawyer Brown, Shenandoah, The Mavericks, Lonestar, and Diamond Rio were running wild on the charts. Oh, did I leave someone out? You’re damn right . . . BlackHawk.

BlackHawk’s original lineup featured Henry Paul, Dave Robbins, and the late Van Stephenson, who died of skin cancer in 2001. And for about five years—between 1993 and 1998—BlackHawk totally kicked ass. Look, I’m not making a case for them to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, but if you weren’t rocking out to “Goodbye Says It All” in 1993, I didn’t want to know you. It’s a banger. It should be on everyone’s Break-Up Playlist.

BlackHawk never scored a No. 1 hit, but they charted a bunch of Top 10 tunes, including “Every Once in a While,” “I’m Not Strong Enough to Say No,” “There You Have It,” and more. In fact, I don’t think they won any major awards, either. But man, if you saw BlackHawk in concert circa 1997, which I did, you understood the mania. It was good, clean fun.

New Album, Old Stuff

Now, imagine my surprise today when I got an email from BlackHawk’s publicist about a new album, Blue Highway, which drops on June 24. The 12 tunes, which were recorded in 1992, feature vocals from Henry, Dave, and Van. The songs were recently mixed and mastered with the addition of bass, drums, electric guitar, and mandolin.

“Looking back on BlackHawk’s beginnings, I’m always reminded of the innocence and personal character of our songwriting, and both the fragile beauty and strength of our voices,” says Henry Paul. “For Van and Dave and I, it was magic watching this exciting chapter in our life’s musical journey unfold. This album once again brings the three of us together and sheds light on the dawn of our creation in those early days.”

“This collection of songs brings home the fact that it wasn’t by chance that Van and Henry and I got to have this dance with you,” adds Dave Robbins.

“Without Van, BlackHawk would have never been, and his uniquely beautiful talent was at the heart of all we did,” says Paul. “Dave and I continue to honor our last promise made to him by keeping BlackHawk together and doing what we can to help find a cure for cancer.”  

In 2006, BlackHawk established the Van Stephenson Cancer Research Fund. Since its inception, the non-profit has generated over $400,000 for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Check out BlackHawk’s new song, “Baby the Rain Must Fall,” below.

‘Blue Highway’ Track List

  1. Don’t Put Yourself Down 
  2. Baby The Rain Must Fall
  3. Southern Wind
  4. I’m Gonna Find a Way
  5. Where The Wild Roses Grow
  6. Not By Chance
  7. Heavy Hand
  8. Heart With a View
  9. Blue Highway
  10. Breathe The Night
  11. One Good Reason
  12. Wide Open Spaces