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The first time I heard of Alison Krauss was at this years Crossroads Guitar Festival actually, and I was quite impressed. I'd heard Dan Tyminski playing before but not the whole band. I was never really a big fan of country or bluegrass, but this group of very talented musicians I can really get into and I find they've really helped open my eyes to some great music.
This is a video I actually had sent to me for an entirely different, but equally interesting, reason... one I was also really intrigued by and am considering exploring further in another post (I won't give it away now in case that comes about sooner rather than later). Still, I liked the clip so much though that I thought I'd show it on it's own as well.
This is Alison Krauss with Union Station playing "Man of Constant Sorrow". Special thanks to Youtube and spasserbente for uploading it as well as to Sam who emailed the link to me originally.
First I should say, I absolutely love this song... and not at all because it was a major part of the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, though I will admit that is where I first heard it. It's just one of those traditional folksy songs, all earthy, honest and real in it's lyrics and style that it really hits home for me. This version especially stands out in my mind because I had not heard it with the entire band before. Although more stripped down versions work just as well, I really like the folksy character that they have in this clip and the great, although more subtle, musicianship throughout.
In fact, I've really grown to like Alison Krauss and Union Station, I think because they just seem so honest and authentic. I've steered away from some country and bluegrass music in the past mainly because "country pop rock" with numerous references to cowboys, cowgirls and cowpokes in general just doesn't do it for me. Since I've been listening to this group a little more though, and watching late night PBS to catch some of the folk music festival artists they highlight, I find country folk and bluegrass to be something I'm really starting to get into more and more.
If this is your first real experience with Alison Krauss and Union Station, check them out. I'm rapidly becoming a fan because they just seem to capture Americana, folk, bluegrass and country flavors so well and completely honestly without any image or ego. Also, Alison Krauss did a duet album with Robert Plant recently that should be out October 23, 2007 called Raising Sand. That may sound like an odd combination but if you love the acoustic side of Led Zeppelin as much as the electric (like me, I've written about it even), you'll see the connection. From the previews I've heard of the album it sounds like a great collaboration and definitely worth checking out.