Alison Krauss & Union Station | 07.25.07

alison_krauseThe poor acoustics of the Scottrade Center gave a great natural reverb to Krauss' stellar voice, and the two-hour set showcased the talents of her spectacular band.

 

 

 

 

Scottrade Center, St. Louis

I'm usually not a big fan of bluegrass. I'm also not a big fan of the term "supergroup"-in fact, with a few exceptions (Broken Social Scene, anyone?), every supergroup I've gone out of my way to see perform live has let me down.  That's why I'm really glad that nobody told me ahead of time that Alison Krauss & Union Station was, in fact, a supergroup. And it was one of the best shows I've seen all year.

Filling the Scottrade Center's Concert Club to near-capacity, Alison Krauss & Union Station put on a stellar two hour show that proved beyond any doubt that this isn't just a skilled songstress and her backing band; Alison Krauss & Union Station is a remarkable collective of bluegrass talent.

A note to the man seated next to me:  I'm sorry the band started five minutes late, and I, and those seated near you, really did appreciate your lecture on the importance of starting on time.  I'm sure this will never, ever happen to you again.

Opening with "Every Time You Say Goodbye," the title track from the band's 1993 Grammy-winning album, the poor acoustics of the Scottrade Center gave a great natural reverb to Krauss' stellar voice, and the two-hour set showcased the talents of her spectacular band.

Joined onstage by bassist Barry Bales (an incredibly in-demand session player in the Nashville scene), guitarist/vocalist Ron Block (an accomplished Gospel solo artist), world-renowned dobro player (and solo artist) Jerry Douglas, and guitarist/vocalist Dan Tyminski (best known as the singing voice of George Clooney in O' Brother Where Art Thou?), Alison Krauss' immense singing, songwriting and fiddle playing talent is definitely in good company.  In fact, several numbers performed by the band were solo numbers-including the well-known "Man of Constant Sorrow" from the O' Brother soundtrack, performed by Tyminski. 

Special guest Jerry Douglas performed three solo tunes as well, including "A Tribute to Peador O'Donnell," showcasing his renown dobro skills.  Douglas, who's won several Grammy, CMA, and IBMA awards for his work, is also an alumni of the O' Brother Where Art Thou? collaboration.

At any rate, Alison Krauss and the very talented Union Station left me with two thoughts: First, I'm a horrible musician and should be ashamed, especially compared to these amazing folks. Second, maybe it's time I start seeing more bluegrass | Joe Shambro

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