KINGSPORT, TN — Blue Highway has influenced two decades of musicians since the band premiered in December 1994 — from â€œThe Voiceâ€ contestant and Knoxville teen Emily Ann Roberts who recently cited Blue Highway as one of her first musical influences, to the 19-year old phenom the respected powerhouse band has just announced as its new member.
Blue Highway announced today the addition of Gaven Largent as dobro player, filling the spot which opened when founding member Rob Ickes departed three weeks ago.
Gaven grew up in a musical family spanning five generations in the heart of Virginiaâ€™s Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, the hometown of legendary Patsy Cline.
Gaven worked on his great grandparentsâ€™ farm from the time he was a youngster. Â The high value his family placed on music, honesty, and hard work enabled him to become a fine and multi-talented young man, gifted with most anything his hands touch, from playing dobro, guitar, bass, banjo, and mandolin, to fine-tuning the engines of vintage tractors like McCormick Farmalls and Minneapolis Molines.
Largent began playing guitar at age 8, resophonic guitar at age 9, and at age 13 was honored to be invited to perform with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
Since 2012 Largent has performed in several bands including Budâ€™s Collective, Lonesome Highway, and most recently Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.
â€œGaven is a true find for Blue Highway,â€ said Wayne Taylor. â€œHeâ€™s a great person and the perfect person to fill this spot in the band!â€
â€œIâ€™m so excited to have Gaven in the band!â€ said Jason Burleson. â€œHe’s an amazing dobro player and an all around great musician and good guy. Â I can’t wait for everyone to hear this cat!â€
â€œGaven has really impressed me in the short time I’ve known him,Â both as a musician and person,â€ said Tim Stafford.Â â€œHe’s a natural,Â and his talent and dedication to his instrument and the music is inspiring. We’re very excited to have him in the group!â€
â€œWe couldn’t have found a better musician for this spot than Gaven,â€ echoed Shawn Lane, who summed it all up, relaying,Â â€œGaven rocks!!â€
Gaven grew up listening to Blue Highway, but came to meet the members of the band through his good friend, Jacob Burleson, son of Blue Highway banjo player, Jason Burleson.
Largent expressed his excitement to be invited join Blue Highway:
â€œIâ€™d first like to say it’s my extreme honor to join a band that has been such a huge influence on the way I think about bluegrass music and the way that I play.Â Tim, Shawn, Wayne, and Jason are all huge heroes of mine, and as a young dobro player, Rob Ickes has always been one of my idols!Â He is one of the best, and it’s going to be tough for me to try to follow such a respected and talented musician. But that said, I am very excited for the challenge of learning all these tunes (even though I’ve listened to Blue Highway for years!) and thankful for the opportunity to join the ranks and share the stage with this band. Playing music full time has been a goal and dream for me since I was eight years old when I started, and to do it now seems surreal. I hope I can make all the family, friends and fans proud!â€
Fans will have their first opportunity to hear the new Blue Highway line-up in January 2016 in Jekyll Island, GA,Â at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Friday, January 1, at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., with tickets at www.adamsbluegrass.com/new-
Blue Highway is welcoming Gaven with a celebration on the band’s website featuring a 25% off discount on everything in the Blue Highway store with code “WELCOME” through Sunday, December 13, at www.BlueHighwayBand.com.
Blue Highway has earned 25 collective IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations. Blue Highway received the Most Radio Airplay of any Bluegrass Artist for 2014, per the 2014 Bluegrass Radio Airplay Chart released by Bluegrass Today. The powerhouse band’s most recent album The GameÂ topped the national Bluegrass Unlimited Album Chart at #1 forÂ 7 consecutive months, and was named the #1 Bluegrass Album of the Year by critic Daniel Mullins in his end of the year Top 20 Albums of 2014 list in Bluegrass Today.