Coun­try

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Polly Coufos

Windy City Alison Krauss Capi­tol/EMI New la­bel, new line-up, same old magic. Af­ter decades with Rounder Records, blue­grass queen Alison Krauss has moved to Capi­tol Records. For her first Capi­tol re­lease she has built a mov­ing al­bum on the premise that she wanted to ex­plore songs from her par­ents’ youth. With lit­tle in­put from her reg­u­lar band, the starstud­ded Union Sta­tion, Krauss and pro­ducer Buddy Can­non, who has over­seen the re­cent spec­tac­u­lar run of Wil­lie Nelson al­bums, have called on Nashville’s A-list ta­lent and crafted a col­lec­tion that high­lights the beauty of her voice in a clas­sic coun­try set­ting. The Os­borne Brothers’ It’s Good­bye and So Long to You is given a horn ar­range­ment and reimag­ined as Merle Hag­gard may have done it, while Nelson’s I Never Cared for You is re­freshed via a lazy Latin rhythm. She re­casts as her own half-for­got­ten songs ei­ther writ­ten or pop­u­larised by the likes of Brenda Lee ( Los­ing You and All Alone Am I), Bill Mon­roe ( Poi­son Love) and Roger Miller ( River in the Rain), but what she man­ages with ma­te­rial that is al­most too well known is rev­e­la­tory. You Don’t Know Me has been treated to mas­ter­ful read­ings by, among oth­ers, Ray Charles, Elvis Pres­ley and Nelson, yet Krauss makes it seem you are hear­ing it for the first time. Where the pre­vi­ously men­tioned singers of­fer a world-weari­ness, the pu­rity of her voice for­ever places her as an in­no­cent in the cen­tre of it. Her read­ing of Gen­tle on My Mind reaps sim­i­lar re­wards. That song’s ti­tle could not be more apt for the en­dur­ing power of coun­try mu­sic’s eter­nal in­genue.

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