DIARY - 23 JANUARY 2005 - ALISON KRAUSS
TRUCKS FOR ROBERT LEE
"The people who love me still ask me/ when are you coming back to
town?/ and I answer quite frankly/ when they stop building roads/ and
all God needs is gravity to hold me down." - Gravity - Robert
troubadour Robert Lee Castleman is a lucky man - he won a Grammy for
his song The Lucky One, cut by Alison Krauss on her 2001 New
Krauss convinced Rounder to sign the West Virginian born big rig truckie
and son of a soldier for his debut disc Crazy As Me.
Although Crazy As Me won rave reviews for the singer it withered
on the sales vine.
But that was no surprise for Castleman who was told he was 10 years
ahead of his time when he first visited Nashville in 1979 and on his
return a decade later.
But Castleman, now 52, had the last grin.
healthy royalties as Krauss, Georgian born superstar Alan Jackson, Suzy
Bogguss, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins cut a brace of his songs.
Castleman wrote the title track of Krauss's 1999 solo album, Forget
About It, and two songs for New Favourite.
Now, Krauss and Union Station have included four more Castleman tunes
including Crazy As Me on her 11th album Lonely Runs Both Ways
all started last millennium when Krauss, 33, asked Castleman to
pick and sing for him at her birthday party after being invited
by her then husband Pat Bergeson.
Castleman, a diamond in the rough produced by Bergeson, was buoyed
by the advice of the late Texan outlaw Waylon Jennings.
said, 'be tenacious and do what you do. Don't ever change what you
do for the sake of pleasing somebody else,' " Castleman revealed.
< Alison Krauss
to hell with it, if I can't do it my way, then I guess I'll just go drive
"I enjoy truckin', and that's the reason I got into it. It's a long,
lonely road, and it leads to a lot of inspiration. You get out there in
the desert someplace, and there you are, just the sky and nobody else
around. It gives you time to ponder things and miss people and reflect
on the times."
So back to Alison and her stellar band who paved the way for recent tourists
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings who landed Wouldn't Be So Bad on
their new disc.
And, in true Krauss style she kicks off with a pair of Castleman tunes
- regret-filled Gravity - with the lyric "I left home when
I was 17/ I just grew tired of falling down" and the hit single Restless.
RUNS BOTH WAYS
called the album Lonely Runs Both Ways because no matter
who's leaving the relationship, there's a negative side," Krauss,
winner of 18 Grammies, revealed.
"The songs are all heartbreak songs, but some of them are the
person singing who's leaving somebody, and the other side, of course,
is that they've been left. I think it covers those two subjects
segues into Ron Block's staccato banjo on Rain, Please Go Away
- a classic from Del McCoury added late in the album's making.
Krauss and Union Station
always have a bridge to the original audience," dobro virtuoso Jerry
Douglas says, "and we didn't have it, the starving bluegrass musician,
the 'I hate my woman,' the bluegrass breakdown song. We just all jumped
on it at once and that one set us all free."
Krauss and Union Station cover all bases.
This Sad Song seeps from the band's embryo - written by Krauss
and original banjo player Alison Brown.
North Carolina singer-songwriter Donna Hughes, who wrote My Poor Old
Heart, is already impacting with her second, self-released album.
Cox Family stalwarts Sidney and Suzanne provide Borderline that
features three way harmonies by Alison, Block and Dan Tyminski.
Tyminksi uplifts Woody Guthrie's Pastures Of Plenty and Block leads
on Castleman tune Doesn't Have To Be This Way.
Krauss peaks on If I Didn't Know Any Better, penned by young protégé
"I think my favourite lyric on this record comes from that song -
"I turned around/ before I could run/I found you already settled
down/In the back of my mind."
Block's rollicking tune I Don't Have to Live This Way and evocative
finale A Living Prayer, embroider the rich bluegrass tapestry.
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