The Highway Band
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The Highway Band

Crown Point, Indiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2001

Crown Point, Indiana, United States
Established on Jan, 2001
Band Rock Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Nine Fine Wines Album Review"

THE HIGHWAY BAND -- "Nine Fine Wines" (Independent)

This Southern-fried Hoosier sextet have a solid chemistry from years of writing, playing and recording together.

While past releases always have been anchored by their strong writing talents and proficient playing, The Highway Band always was much better live than recorded.

"Nine Fine Wines" balances the scales. For the first time ever, Highway has truly hit the note! This is due in no small part to the capable production skills of Phil Miller (of Sonia Dada fame) and having Rick Barnes (Nick Tremulis) tweaking and twisting knobs as their engineer.

All the right ingredients came together to make this a fine vintage. The cork in the bottle here is the disc's high-quality packaging, complete with a lyric booklet chock full of color band shots.

As a total package, "Nine Fine Wines" can stand up to any major label release and even best a good chunk of them.

Highlights: "All's Forgiven," "Rusted Nail" and "How Does It Feel?"
- Tom Lounges-Midwest Beat Magizine

"Star Plaza Theatre Letter"

The Highway Band is, without a doubt, one of the best regional bands to showcase their
talents on the Star Plaza stage. They have appeared as the opening act for such national acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jackyl.

The Highway Band has also appeared at the Midwest Beat’s Region Rumble by being
Selected from many competing bands. Their sets have been among the best and consistently draw some of the largest local crowds.

The Highway Band and their crew are both professional and considerate to work with
throughout the entire process. From booking, to promotion, to publicity, to production
and finally performance the act is organized, efficient and effective.

The Highway Band is a hard – driving rock act that you would want on your stage. Their
unique sound would add quality to any star-studded line up.

Don’t miss out…You will want them on your show!

Mark Bishop
General Manager
Star Plaza Theatre
- Mark Bishop G.M.

"Take The Ride Review"

Rikks Revues
Highway - Take The Ride
Every once in a while I like to play a game of "what if ?", ok so here goes...... What if you could get the sound of the 70s bands like Blues Image and mix it with some swamp music and garnish it with '90s era Black Crowes. Well if you could, you can....... Highway does just that on their CD Take The Ride. Electrifying guitar work that blends Memphis blues with the likes of the Allman Brothers. This really was a treat to receive and listen to, I was pleasantly surprised to find such an in your face rock sound from the Southeast of Chicago band.
The CD opens with a thundering blow with the rockin' "Want Some" and the fun doesn't stop until the last note of "This Time". The main problem as I see it is you just don't hear this sound on the radio much anymore, that also gives credit to Highway for not trying to re-mold themselves into the styles that saturate the radio playlists as of late.
If you like your rock with an edge and enjoy listening to talented musicians go off on a solo like when rock was REAL, then Highway is probably a perfect fit for ya. "The Fine Thin Line" is one of those epic songs that comes at you in three different parts - Walking The Line, The Somnabulist's dream, and the gift of sight. The instrumentation completely cooks here, Highway could show some of the younger generation a thing or 2 about how a band is supposed to be one unit with multiple working parts.
The members of Highway seem almost as if they can feel what the other member is going to do next as they work, and play together as a well oiled machine. It's not often that you see a six piece band anymore either, unless they are blazing a comeback trail. All in all this is a solid album with some very memorable tracks like the energetic "Max the Sax" that reminds you a bit of Bo Diddley in the beginning, "Want Some", and " No Real Reason" leading the pack.
( 5 Stars out of 6 )
- Rikks Reviews

"Live Review"

Quote by, Award Winning Hall of Fame
Nashville Producer Robert Metzgar

"The Highway Band has an incredible, exciting sound that just lifts you out of your chair and puts dance back inside you. If you are looking to sign one of the single greatest groups of musicians I've ever heard, sign the Highway! They will rock you! Great vocals, total professionals. This Band Kicks Ass!! The band to fill your venue with screaming excited fans!"
- Producer, Robert Metzgar

" review"

Friday April 5th, 2002
GABBA's President, Greg Potter and his team were nervously anticipating a year's worth of work coming together just right! Well sir, on Friday night it did just that. A band from Crown Point, Indiana called "The Highway Band" ( took the stage. The line up in "Highway," is David Varella, lead vocals and percussion, John Bonick, guitar and vocals, Jim Bonick, lead guitar, Rick Hemphill keys and vocals, Tim Dailey bass and vocals and Corie Wilcox on drums. They came out and tore it up! They showed how the music of the Allman Brothers and other Southern bands had touched a group of young rockers from the Midwest. This band is the real deal folks. The dueling guitar solos were brilliant and the whole band was a joy to hear. If you ever get a chance to see this band live don't miss it. I urge you to check these guys out. The great Southern style of music we love is very apparent in Highway's live sets. The band lists as influences, the Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes and the Rolling Stones. Man, they cooked! Manager, Tony Ave told me that the band has a tentatively planned tour this summer through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Keep your peepers open and if they come near you, BE THERE! I guarantee you a good time, and a good show. Be sure to tell em you heard about them in GRITZ! - Michael

"Highway opens for Skynyrd"

By Mike Kucic

Crown Point-based Highway made the most of a huge opportunity Saturday night as the opening act for the mighty Lynyrd Skynyrd band. Playing to a capacity crowd at the Star Plaza Theater, Highway took the stage at 8 p.m. and kicked out 40 minutes worth of their original music, much to the delight of an enthusiastic audience.
It was by far the biggest opportunity yet in the band's fledgling career, noted manager Mike Dykes. The band acknowledged that by dedicating a cover of The Allman Brothers Band's vintage Statesboro Blues to Skynyrd, thanking them for the chance to share their stage. The rest of the show supported the band's first two CDs, "Highway," a four-song EP and "Take the Ride," their first full-length CD that singer David Varella announced had been released the night before.
Highway opened their set with new material, Want Some, and also performed Fall, Max the Sax, and Take the Ride, the new album's title cut. They also performed The Great and Secret Show and You Can Shine from "Highway", the latter of which went to number one in Indianapolis earlier this year.
The band closed with The Needle or the Noose from the new album, a radio-ready cut that starts off as a catchy multi-harmony song about the end of a relationship then segues into a guitar and organ jam that rivals anything the Allman Brothers did in this vein.
If the band was nervous about performing, it didn't show. Lead singer Varella was expressive, animated, and audience-friendly, and guitarists (and brothers) Jim and John Bonick were right-on with their solos and riffs. Jim in particular received enthusiastic audience reaction for his guitar work while John displayed the fancy footwork that backs up his old-school playing.
Keyboardist Rick Hemphill looked right at home on stage, tossing his head with abandon when it would have been understandable if he stared straight at his boards instead of elsewhere during such an important show. The rhythm section of drummer Corie Wilcox and bassist Tim Dailey was solid as usual, with Tim lending a beautiful co-lead vocal to The Needle and The Noose.
After the concert, business was brisk at the Highway merchandise booth, where all of the band's members gathered to meet and greet the many new fans they won over with their performance. Some of their new fans are the Lynyrd Skynyrd band themselves, noted Highway guitarist John Bonick. "We passed them in a backstage hallway as we were leaving the stage and they told us, 'Great job guys, you guys sounded great!' That was a fantastic thing to hear." - Mike Kucic

"Highway Band Spreads Their Wings"

03/24/2006 - The Highway Band was flying high at their March 11 show at Sidelines in Lynwood, located across the street from the Lansing Airport.

One of the first songs we heard walking in was "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. I was surprised because I thought they did all originals.

Turned out I was wrong, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. They covered some more obscure tunes than most all-cover bands.

Tonight, the band treated the crowd to "Anyday" by Derek and The Dominoes, "Hush" by Deep Purple, "Into The Mystic" by Van Morrison, and "Have A Cigar" by Pink Floyd.

My personal favorite was "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers. It was so good that I waited to go to the bathroom so I wouldn't miss one note. Another highlight was Rick Hemphill's keyboard on "Hush."

They also covered tunes by Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Faces, and plenty of Rolling Stones.

The guys tackling these classics aren't in their 40s or 50s. They're all twenty-something, that bring a youthful energy to their shows.

The Highway Band also provides something sadly disappearing in today's rock: true lead guitar players. The Bonnick brothers, Jim and John, took turns on lead and slide. Neither had a problem duplicating licks by Clapton or Gilmore.

The band is rounded out by David Varella on Lead Vocals, Tim Dailey on bass, Corie Wilcox on drums.

Besides the covers, their originals are not to be missed. They performed "Take The Ride," "All's Forgiven," and "One More Time" with the same intensity as the covers. They're excellent numbers in a southern rock/Black Crowes style. My only complaint is they didn't play more originals.
- Joe Skotnicki


Highway has a 4 song ep self titled “Highway”
A 12 song lp “Take The Ride”
A live studio DVD, a 14 song live CD “The Blackdog Sessions”
And the newest release “Nine Fine Wines” selling in U.S. and Europe
“Southern Rock Tribute to Kenny Chesney” A national release from CMH Records.
Feature Band on (Ground Control) "Chicago Rockers For Life" Compilation CD



The Highway Band is a rock and roll sextet, formed in March of 2001.

All six members write, play guitar, sing & contributing harmonies.

The Highway Band has 42 original songs.

A few clubs and music venues The Highway Band has performed at:

Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, IL
Hard Rock Café, Chicago, IL
Penny Road, Barrington, IL
Tweeter Center, Tinley Park, IL
Wise Fools Pub, Chicago, IL
Beat Kitchen, Chicago, IL
Gunther Murphys, Chicago, IL
Silver Cross Field, Joliet, IL
Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL
The Rock Lobster, Indianapolis, IN
Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Birdys, Indianapolis, IN
Star Plaza Theater, Merrillville, IN
Headliners Music Hall, Louisville, KY
Douglas Theater, Macon, GA
Jakes Toadhouse, Decatur, GA
Up and Under Pub, Milwaukee, WI
The Rave, Milwaukee, WI
Village East Theater, NYC, NY
Woodstock Reunion, Bethel, NY

The Highway Band has opened for:

Lynyrd Skynyrd (3500 seat, sold out show)
White Snake (Clear Channel Entertainment - Rock Never Stops Tour)
Kip Winger
Tim Brooks (GABBA Fest) Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association
Marc Ford
Umphrey’s Mcgee (Pre-Show Party @ The Rave)
Steppenwolf (Bill Jacobs Summer Concert Series '06)
The Guess Who
Jefferson Starship
Styx & Foreigner (Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island Chicago - A Live Nation Production)
Bad Company & Molly Hatchet (D.C's Country Junction)

The Highway Band has an extensive e-mail list of 1000+ people

The Highway Band has a 4 song EP titled “Highway”
“Take The Ride” is their 2nd release (a 12 song CD)
“The Black Dog Sessions” (a 14 song, live CD)
“Nine Fine Wines” is their finest yet, selling in the U.S. and Europe
“The Southern Rock Tribute to Kenny Chesney” a national release from CMH Records
The Highway Band is the feature band on "Ground Control - Chicago Rockers For Life" (a compilation CD)

The Highway Band originated in The Region, a tough blue-collar area southeast of Chicago where hundreds of bands battle for exposure and gigs. They have risen to the challenge, delivering powerful onstage shows week after week, year after year. The Highway Band has tapped into the primal source of rock music, the blues, and followed its evolution through seminal bands such as The Allman Brothers Band, The Rolling Stones and Cream. Their original music acknowledges their musical debt to these bands without sacrificing passion and freshness.

The Highway Band has further distinguished itself by playing the GABBA Fest in Macon Georgia. They have shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jackyl, Foreigner and Styx and have played the Tommy Jeans stage at Chicago’s Tweeter Center and Charter One Pavilion at northerly island Chicago. Their original songs have aired on 93.1 WXRT and 97.9 The LOOP Radio in Chicago, 103.9 X- Rock & Night Rock in Valparaiso and KOOL 101.9 Radio in Indianapolis.

Seeing The Highway Band live, the first impression is that there is no star in The Highway Band. In truth, every member of the band is a born rock star. Vocalist David Varella sings with the passion of BB King, Ray Charles and Greg Allman. David’s voice is powerful and mesmerizing.  Brothers John and Jim Bonick blaze on guitars. Blending their two instruments into one, they invoke Keith Richards and Brian Jones on those great early Stones records or even Duane and Dickie from the early Allman Brothers performances. Tim Dailey’s bass playing is equal parts Bootsy Collins and Paul McCartney, funky, soulful and melodic. Drummer Glenn Miller slaps the skins with influences ranging from Buddy Rich to Bill Bruford while Rich Ficek on piano, organ, sax and flute adds an air of sophistication to the raw rock and roll sound of The Highway Band. All of the members write great songs, and all contribute harmonies.

Talented and hardworking, The Highway Band is a good-time rock and roll band.

And their shows are always a party!