New Favorite

Alison Krauss And Union Station

Rounder Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Alison Krauss and Union Station should be declared a national treasure.

There we go. Let's start the review off with a nice strong statement so you know where I stand. Bluntly, I think that Krauss is one of our greatest living vocalists, that Union Station is a truly great band, and that they've recorded very little if anything at all that's bad. More than just a bluegrass band or a country band, Union Station is a sound all its own, a rich tapestry of American musical heritage that should be savored, enjoyed, experienced. Their latest CD, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 New Favorite, is no exception.

A strong contender for the year's top ten, New Favorite shows the continued maturation of vocalist and fiddler Alison Krauss, as well as Union Station's second voice, Dan Tyminski. Tyminski has suddenly received a bit of mainstream notice, as he provided George Clooney's vocals in the recent movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? His voice is clear, strong, and powerful with talent all its own, and the one-two punch of Krauss and Tyminski make Union Station as good as they are. The masterful playing of guitar and dobro maven Jerry Douglas and the additional strings of Ron Block and Barry Bales make Union Station perhaps the best bluegrass band out there.

There are no bad tracks on New Favorite. From the sensual swing of "Let Me Touch You For A While" to Tyminski's ominous vocals on "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn" to "Stars", this album is solid all the way through. Special note, though, has to go to "Crazy Faith" and "I'm Gone", both of which showcase Krauss flirting with an almost torch sound, reminiscent of some of k.d. lang's work. "Crazy Faith" is one of the best female vocal performances I've heard this year. If there was any justice, some large award ceremony would notice. Of course, they won't…

New Favorite isn't just for bluegrass fans. It's for anyone who appreciates superior acoustic musicianship, great songwriting, and brilliant vocals. This album is a can't-miss.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rounder Records, and is used for informational purposes only.