On The Floor Of Heaven

The Blue Shadows

Bumstead, 2010

http://www.myspace.com/theblueshadowscowsill

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/26/2010

The Blue Shadows were one of those groups who produced some excellent music during their short career and then quietly disappeared. They were a Canadian band fronted by a former American pop star.

Bill Cowsill was a founding member of the sixties pop group that bears his last name. Along with siblings Bob, Barry, John, Susan, and their mother Barbara, he performed as the Cowsills and released a string of singles that reached the American charts. Bill sang the lead on their memorable number two hit “The Rain, The Park & Other Things.” my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Partridge Family television show was patterned after the family.

By the mid-eighties The Cowsills were long gone and Bill Cowsill had relocated from Newport, Rhode Island to Vancouver, British Columbia. He was now fronting the alternative country band The Blue Shadows with Canadian roots rocker Jeffrey Hatcher, drummer J.B. Johnson, and bassist Elmar Spanier, who was later replaced by Barry Muir.

The group’s first album On The Floor Of Heaven, released during 1993, was never issued in The United States and is a lost gem. The music can best be described as The Everly Brothers meet Graham Parsons. The harmonies of Cowsill and Hatcher will make you ache and the fusion of country and rock is catchy and memorable.

The album has finally been released south of the border as a deluxe edition. In addition to the original twelve tracks, there is a second bonus disc with a dozen more songs that have been in the vault since their creation. While Cowsill and Hatcher wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the original release, here there are a number of covers such as Joni Mitchell’s “Raised On Robbery” and Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December.” The bonus tracks may not be of the same overall quality as the original dozen, but they are nevertheless a fine addition.

The Blue Shadows would only release one more album, 1995’s Lucky To Me, before breaking up. Bill Cowsill passed away February 17, 2006 at the age of 58.

On The Floor Of Heaven is a lost treasure which has resurfaced after being unavailable almost since its release. Don’t let it get away a second time.

Rating: A-

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