Highway 50 is the brainchild of Al Laughlin, original member of the Boulder, Colorado band, The Samples. Laughlin co-wrote many of the band’s most enduring songs including Did You Ever Look So Nice, Taxi, and Underwater People. His percussive off-beat reggae stylings on keyboards became known as “the bubble” and helped form the band’s signature sound.
The Samples sold over one million albums in the 1990’s as they sold out venues in college towns across the country and headlined some of the H.O.R.D.E. tour shows in 1993 and 1996. They shared the bill with big names such as The Allman Brothers Band, Blues Traveler, and Phish and many up and coming bands opened up for them including The Dave Matthews Band and Hootie & the Blowfish. The band’s success included television performances on The Tonight Show and House of Blues Live.
Laughlin continued writing songs after he left The Samples and, after years of urgings from fans, Highway 50 was born.
Guitarist James Hambleton was recruited and the band began recording and playing clubs all over Colorado. The rest of the lineup is a rotating “whos who” of the Colorado music scene including fellow former Sample Jeep MacNichol and Brian Nevin (of Big Head Todd and the Monsters) on drums, Andrew McNew and Matt Planer on horns, and Julie Gussaroff on mandolin.
Highway 50’s sound blends ska, reggae, jazz, pop and R&B with Laughlin’s melodic vocals and introspective lyrics. The band’s following continues to grow and big things are up ahead in 2012 and beyond…