DIARY - 29 AUGUST 2007 - ALISON KRAUSS CD REVIEW
A HUNDRED MILES OR MORE: A COLLECTION (ROUNDER-SHOCK)
SEVEN STARS *******
20 Grammys long before the age of 36 it's no surprise Alison Krauss
has a queue of pop singers wanting to duet with her.
This time it's John Waite - former singer for seventies English band
Krauss includes their duet, from a new Waite compilation disc - also
Her 12th album reprises many songs that previously appeared on movie
soundtracks diverse as Cold Mountain, Prince of Egypt and O
Brother, Where Art Thou.
But the smart sequencing ensures four of five new songs entree the
16-track disc and Don Williams tune Lay Down Beside Me, also
featuring Waite, is the finale.
not only a mistress of cross genre music but gender reversal when she
opens with You're Just A Country Boy - originally a hit for Texan
Williams as I'm Just A Country Boy.
Alison recently boosted the coffers of trucking troubadour Robert Lee
Castleman by cutting his songs.
This time it's fellow bluegrass singer Julie Lee whose royalties stream
flows from use of her tunes Jacob's Dream and Away Down The
River among the new cuts.
Although this is marketed as a Krauss disc, instead of a Union Station
collaboration, band members perform on several tracks.
Jerry Douglas adds lap steel to Sarah Siskind's Simple Love and
Away Down The River and dobro on Sawing On The Strings,
one of the few songs to feature Krauss's fiddle playing.
And brother Viktor, of Lyle Lovett's band, plays bass on Get Me Through
December - not to be mistaken for Merle Haggard's classic Help
Me Make It Through December.
The song, featuring Natalie McMaster on fiddle, was originally on McMaster's
1999 album In My Hands.
So there's the history - now, is purchase, necessary?
Well, Alison's dad phoned her on his first listening and asked if the
bleak mood was going to lighten up.
Well, his prayers were answered when he heard Krauss-James Taylor duet
on How's The World Treating You from excellent Louvin Brothers
tribute disc Livin', Lovin' Leavin'.
That lifeboat is pure country bliss with Brad Paisley on Bill Anderson-Jon
Randall tune Whiskey Lullaby featuring harmony vocals by Dan Tyminski.
Krauss adds viola and Douglas dobro on the U.S. radio magnet - an acoustic
oasis in the mainstream.
Maybe Krauss will ignite interest in her new pet Don Williams who once
graced local radio with Bob McDill epic Good Ol Boys Like Me.
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