BLUE HIGHWAY, “The Game,” Rounder. 12 tracks.

Seems like only yesterday that Blue Highway was a brand new band.

But they’re celebrating 20 years together in 2014 and — amazingly — with the same lineup.

“The Game,” the band’s 11th album, features 11 songs written or co-written by band members.

The only non-original song on the album is “Hick’s Farewell,” a traditional gospel song featuring an a capella duet by Shawn Lane and Wayne Taylor.

The title cut is about a gambler who shoots a man over a card game and then has to shoot two more people to get away.

“All The Things You Do” is a song about someone who died too soon and will always be missed. It was inspired by the deaths of Harley Allen and Larry Rice.

There are some great lines in a couple of songs.

“Remind Me Of You” says, “I started slowly like I always do/Day old coffee at the crack of noon.”

And “A Change Of Faith In Tennessee” uses gospel imagery to describe a lost love. “The body of our love is lying in the tomb/It’s gone and will rise again no more.”

“My Last Day In The Mine” finds a miner on his last day at work wishing he could go back and start all over again.

“I’m not sure if I’m the kind of man who can spend all day sitting by himself, slowly growing old with a fishing pole,” he sings.

Trey Hensley, a band protege, was brought in to sing lead on the song.

Another working-man song, “Just To Have A Job,” finds a long-haul trucker thinking about his aching back and the kids who are growing up at home without him. But he knows he’s lucky just to have a job.

There are also a couple of instrumentals — “Dogtown” and “Funny Farm.”

Another strong album by a band that just keeps getting better.

Can’t find it in stores? Try

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