Bluegrass music has become mainstream with the huge success of Mumford and Sons. It’s like Brooklyn has become 90’s Seattle, but instead of grunge it’s big-bearded dudes playing fiddles. What has gotten lost is that the person who did more to bring bluegrass music out from just being a fringe music scene was a woman, Alison Krauss. You hear often that someone sings like an Angel. I think that is generally blasphemy, not because I’m religious, but because Alison Krauss voice is so pure and beautiful, no others pretenders should be compared to her.
1. Let Me Touch You for Awhile
Take the voice of an Angel and have her sing words so direct in their desire and you have one of the most seductive songs ever recorded. She’s at her most Dolly Parton in this one.
2. When You Say Nothing at All (Live)
This is American Opera music to me. The quality of her voice is so strong and emotional. I like the live version, as the drums in the 95 release take a little away from the otherwise perfection of the song.
3. Oh Atlanta
This cover of a Bad Company song, Krauss hits this one like a hillybilly queen and damned if it isn’t about perfect. Timeless music. Clip from Letterman show.
4. Baby that I’ve Found You
A more country version of Shawn Colvin-type tune. The dobro playing of Jerry Douglas mixed with her violin are gorgeous.
5. New Favorite (live)
This comes from the great Alison Krauss and Union Station Live Record. This version has her with an edge to her voice.
6. Down in the River to Pray
From the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, this one is a gospel classic. After to listening to this it makes a band like the Fleet Foxes seem very second-rate.
7. Lucky One
With all the talk here by myself about the virtues of Ms. Krauss’ voice, don’t sleep on her band, Union Station. They are some amazing pickers and Krauss herself is a great fiddle player in her own right.
8. I Will
This Beatles cover is pure sweetness.
9. Ghost in this House (Live)
Beautiful harmonies on this one.
1o. (tie) Killing the Blues
My favorite song from her duet record with Robert Plant. Sounds like a great lost track from Jack White.
10. (tie) Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby
The trio of Krauss, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch are gorgeous on this acapella song from the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack.