In honor of Alison Krauss and Union Station’s upcoming appearance at the Mountain Park Amphitheater in Holyoke on Sunday, the Underground proudly presents a list consisting of our top five favorite tracks that feature the critically acclaimed bluegrass artist.
Though not every song features the members of Union Station, their presence has definitely been an important part of Krauss’ career.
Or according to an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, where she described her time with the group, Krauss said, “Working with this band is where I really find out what’s going on. The five of us have something that is meant to stay together.”
Judging by the fact that she’s been with the group since 1989 and recorded numerous albums with them, I think the sultry songstress might be on to something.
Keep reading below to see if your favorite song made the list, and if it didn’t, please chime in with a note in the comment section.
A great single from the album that shares its name, this song is actually a cover. Written in 1967 to be the debut release by British soul band the Foundations, the original version was a hit overseas but found new life when Krauss’ take took the country charts by storm in 1995. It would also go to win the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1996.
4. “Trampled Rose”
Originally written by experimental musician Tom Waits, this number appears on Krauss’ 2007 collaboration with former Led Zepplein singer Robert Plant Raising Sand. While Plant himself doesn’t appear on the track, Krauss seems not to need the help. Instead, she masterfully holds a listeners attention for over five minutes, sometimes without even using actual words.
Appearing on the hit soundtrack for the 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” this traditional tune also features the vocals of music stars Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch (who is scheduled to appear at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton this November). Performed largely a capella, the three artists voices combine to transform a potential lullaby into an entrancing call of seduction. Who said Americana couldn’t be sexy?
First appearing on a tribute album to the late country singer Keith Whitley, this song received so much unsolicited airplay that the label for the record was forced to release Krauss’ version to radio in 1995. Also popping up on the retrospective release Not That I’ve Found You: A Collection, the single was a huge hit and is cited by many as the reason that Krauss’ career started to take off. For the new listener, this is probably the best track to start with but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
1. “Whiskey Lullaby”
Recorded as duet with country star Brad Paisley for his album Mud on the Tires, this haunting ballad tells the story of a couple torn apart by infidelity and alcoholism. Former Silver Spoons star Rick Schroder stars in the video, but its Krauss’ vocals that steal the show. If one could distill sadness and longing into a single phrase, the lingering refrain of “la la la la la la la,” is probably as close to pure heartbreak as you can get.
Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas with opener Jeremy Lister perform July 24, 7 p.m., $35-75, Mountain Park Amphitheater, Mountain Park Access Road, Holyoke, (413) 586-8686, http://www.iheg.com/ mountain_park.
For more information on Alison Krauss and Union Station or to see future tour dates please visit http://www.alisonkrauss.com.
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