Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alison Krauss and Union Station

Friday night, the audience at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium was engulfed and swept away by the beautiful sound of Alison Krauss and Union Station, who came to grace the iconic stage with their daunting talent for two incredible nights.

A crowd made their way downtown to fill the pews of the Ryman, seeking out the voice of the woman who has sung her way to 26 Grammy Awards – more than any other female ever – accompanied by her illustrious band.

The opening act, singer-songwriter Angel Snow, wooed the audience with her powerful yet distinct voice. She was the perfect compliment to the main event, setting the tone for the evening.

The lights were dim as Krauss and her band quietly filled the stage, easing right into the first song of the evening and proving their prowess by immediately captivating the crowd’s attention. The set list catered to every type of fan, as the band played heavily off their album Paper Airplane but also highlighted songs of albums past.

AKUS transformed the Ryman into a farm filled with friends and family on a Tennessee Friday night. The backdrop was a photo montage of soothing images of the countryside. Those photos, paired with Krauss’ hauntingly perfect voice removed the audience from the hustle and bustle of the city and dropped them off in the middle of a serene landscape.

Though many of Krauss’ songs carry sad or melancholy themes, the beauty of the music pulls them into the realm of bittersweet. Even Krauss joked to the audience on this topic, saying, “A lot of times people will come up to us, and they will say, ‘Hey what’s up with you people and your sad songs all the time?’ Finally we just figured out we are just sad people.”

Toward the end of the night, Krauss stepped aside and let each band member shine through their own solo. Jerry Douglas, master of the Dobro, was the first to take the stage. Banjo player Ron Block followed, and then the man of constant sorrow himself – Dan Tyminski, who was the singing voice of George Clooney in the film O Brother Where Art Thou?

After nearly two hours of the melodic lull of Krauss’ voice like all good things, the show came to an end. Krauss encored with a medley of favorites consisting of “When You Say Nothing at All,” “Whiskey Lullaby” and “Down to the River to Pray.”


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