Queen of The Lost Highway
“Queen of The Lost Highway is a unique fusion of Hank William’s country meets
contemporary Americana and Finnish minor chord melancholia curled around
James Blundell’s bitter-sweet vocals. An instant classic.”
~ LEMAR BYRNES
If Sideways announced the return of James Blundell to the charts, then Queen of The Lost Highway is the perfect follow-up.
Penned by the acclaimed international songwriting team of Australian lyricist Terry McArthur and Finnish composer Mika Kuokkanen Queen of The Lost Highway is a unique fusion of classic Hank William’s country meets contemporary Americana and Finnish minor chord melancholia.
Producer Larry Campbell’s signature guitar motifs and Little Feat’s Bill Payne’s killer key feels curl around James Blundell’s bittersweet vocals as he laments love’s last rites, eyes wide open and the shadow of a smile on his face…
But don’t take my word, for it, let’s see what JAMES BLUNDELL, the man described as the most influential Australian country artist of his generation has to say about queens, lost highways, and the ghost of Hank Williams…
LEMAR: Leon Payne penned The Lost Highway in the 1940s. The song has since been covered by many artists, including Hank Williams .Tom Petty and Willie Nelson. Queen of The Lost Highway seems like a real deal sister song…
JAMES : During my time in Nashville the term Lost Highway developed absolute reality. It was used when artists were suffering burnout or were playing the Don Quixote card. It actually is a very real term in the American music or the Americana Country Palace.
LEMAR: How did you come to record Queen of The Lost Highway?
JAMES: “ The first two lines of the song go (James sings)
Thought I saw your taillights out along the lake
You always drove so fast, so heavy on the brakes
They were very representative of my relationship with Lidia, mother of my two oldest children. Lidia drove like a bat out of hell and always hit the brakes real hard. So the minute I read those lyrics I thought, I actually have to sing this song. It’s a calling.
I resonated immediately with the song and the truth of my relationship with Lidia. It was a very, very strong, very deep committed, and loving relationship. And as it slowly unwound, it was probably the first time in my adult life that I came face-to-face with the fact that sometimes love is actually not enough. There’s all sorts of other forces at play that can determine whether a relationship does the term of each partner’s life.
So, I related to everything about Queen of The Lost Highway ~ its musicality, definitely the nostalgia and definitely the sense of loss, but also recognizing the inevitability of the demise of a relationship really, really struck a chord.
The incandescent first single from James Blundell’s new album World Don’t Stop.
Recorded at the legendary Clubhouse Studios in Rhinebeck, New York with the Grammy winning production team of Larry Campbell and Justin Guip, Sideways marks the return of a rejuvenated, creatively recharged James Blundell, singer, songwriter, storyteller, and hemp farmer.
The song kicks off with Larry Campbell’s irresistible guitar riff. James Blundell has never sung or sounded better, or been in finer musical company. Sideways like the rest of the songs on the forthcoming album, World Don’t Stop is a jaw dropping fusion of Blundell’s distinctive brand of Australian country rock (not a Nashville twang to be heard) Americana, roots and folk, and New Orleans-tinged rhythm and blues.
“I wrote Sideways with Robert Zimmerman, a no bullshit Texan singer-songwriter, no relation to Bob Dylan ”,, smiles. James.” Bill Page from Mushroom Music Publishing and SAFM fame set us up for a Zoom meet and we wrote three songs over the course of that one session. The Sideways chorus arrived fully formed and Robert ran with it. We found a common theme: he who makes no mistakes, makes nothing. Getting things wrong is not bad, it is an essential part of our growth and development intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.”
Sideways is the first release from the freshly minted Australian indie label Wonderwheel Music, distributed by MGM.