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Songs You Forgot You Loved: BlackHawk Brings Mandolin to Modern Country on ‘Every Once in a While’

And the best use of mandolin in a ’90s country hit goes to…

Henry Paul and BlackHawk for their song “Every Once in a While!” It’s a worthy win for Paul, Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson, regular nominees in the best Eagles-style harmonies category.

Sadly, such honors don’t exist to break up the monotony of awards shows. If they did in the ’90s, then the veterans in Blackhawk would’ve gotten even more recognition for bringing creatively different yet comfortably familiar sounds to the country charts.

Paul came to the group from the Southern rock outfit The Outlaws and his own Henry Paul Band. Robbins and Stephenson co-wrote “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” “Big Dreams in a Small Town” and other hits for BlackHawk’s country band predecessors Restless Heart. Stephenson also found some success as a mid-’80s pop singer.

Read More: 90s Country Artists You Forgot You Loved

The group formed in 1992 and caught fire with its first single, 1993’s “Goodbye Says It All.” “Every Once in a While” kept momentum rolling in ’94. It’s part energetic country-rocker in the mold of Sawyer Brown or Brooks & Dunn, part Ricky Skaggs or George Strait ode to tradition.

Lyrically, it’s a straightforward love song. When a woman gets asked by a man if she thinks about their past romance, she grossly under-exaggerates her interest in hooking up again. This Ronnie Milsap-quality love story only missed out on the top spot of the charts because it happened to gain traction at the same time as Alan Jackson’s cover of “Summertime Blues.”

Hits kept rolling in off the band’s self-titled album. “I Sure Can Smell the Rain,” “Down in Flames” and “That’s Just About Right,” cracked the top 10. From there, songs like 1999’s “Your Own Little Corner of My Heart” kept the original trio on country fans’ minds. Yet as a live version from Farm Aid that’s online shows, the true gem among the trio’s greatest hits remains its sophomore single.

“Every Once in a While” Lyrics

When the moon is bright
On a Saturday night
There’s a thousand stars in the sky
On a winding road her memory flows
She’ll face the fact
She wants to go back

She opens her heart to an old memory
She closes her eyes and she smiles
Just ask her if she ever still
Thinks about me
She’ll say “Every once in a while
Every once in a while”

She tries to forget
But she hasn’t yet
Not a single day goes by
That feeling again reminds of when
I held her tight, it felt so right

She opens her heart to an old memory
She closes her eyes and she smiles
Just ask her if she ever still
Thinks about me
She’ll say “Every once in a while
Every once in a while”

Now Watch: Country Hits Turning 20 in 2018

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Songs You Forgot You Loved: BlackHawk Brings Mandolin to Modern Country on ‘Every Once in a While’