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8 December 2013

A number of people who know our music and have made it part of their lives have asked us whether the two remaining members of the group, Steve Butts and Steve Trott, might somehow continue with live performances of The Highwaymen. We are enormously gratified to hear from you, and the issue you have raised is a serious one. It deserves a more considered response than what is provided elsewhere on the website.

For us, music is more than notes, words and rhythm, it is an expression of a time, a place and above all the personality and culture of those who perform it. Thus it can be created but not recreated, because the myriad ingredients that molded its birth cannot be repeated. It is in our case the expression of a set of unique personalities and sensibilities that, sadly, is no more.

We lost a great chunk of The Highwaymen when Chan Daniels died in 1974, and the argument above might have persuaded us to foreswear further performing. It didn't; by 1987 we felt that Chanís spirit was with us enough to begin performing again as the real Highwaymen. But with the death of Dave Fisher in 2010, Gil Robbins a year later, and of Bob Burnett also in that year, too much of The Highwaymen has gone with them.

Yet the music that we did create is not gone: it exists as we created it, in our recordings from the Ď60s, and more recently. Now certainly, recordings are just a representation of what was done and not the real thing. But they are a true representation: partial, yes, but not false. Oneís grandparents may be gone, and one cherishes their memories and their faded photos, but one does not attempt to dress up as they were and behave as they did.

So, no, we will not attempt to do the impossible, and to recreate what we once were. We were more than just the notes, words and rhythm, and we will let that most precious part of our spirit rest in peace.

Thank you all again for your kind words and thoughts. May you continue to enjoy our music and that of the many other folk artists of our time and since for many years to come.

Steve Butts
Steve Trott
For The Highwaymen


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