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Classic bluegrass from young Alison
on 22 December 2003
This was Alison's second album but the first on which her band gets title billing. The musicians were Alison Krauss (fiddle), Mike Harman (banjo), Jeff White (guitar), John Pennell (bass), Jerry Douglas (dobro) and Brent Truitt (mandolin). Jerry and Brent were not members of Union station but were brought in as guests on the recordings. Alison was just 17 when these tracks were recorded but she was already the supreme performer. Jeff White sings lead on Wild Bill Jones, As lovely as you, Lord don't forsake me and Midnight rider, with Alison and Mike providing harmony vocals. Beaumont rag and Windy city rag are instrumentals. On all other tracks, Alison sings lead vocal, with Jeff and Mike providing harmony vocals.
The last two tracks will be the most familiar. Teardrops will kiss the morning dew was originally recorded by the Osborne brothers, an excellent bluegrass outfit, and was also covered by Billie Jo Spears. Both those versions are somewhat obscure, but Alison's own version was selected for inclusion on Now that I've found you A collection, the hugely successful compilation of Alison's music. If you are thinking of buying this album, you surely own that compilation already - and if not, you should buy that first. The final track is a cover of Gregg Allman's classic Midnight rider, here adapted to bluegrass - brilliantly.
You are not likely to know many (if any) of the first ten tracks but they are definitely worth a listen. They are a varied mix of ballads and up-tempo but the overall feel of the album is upbeat. Possibly the best is Heaven's bright shore though it is difficult to pick out highlights on an album of such quality.
If you already have Now that I've found you A collection and you want to explore Alison's early music further, this is for you.