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Alison Krauss and Union Station: Lonely Runs Both Ways

Adam Sweeting, Guardian, The, 19 November 2004

THIS IS KRAUSS'S first studio album for three years, though in the meantime she's delivered a bestselling live album, won three Grammy awards, and made a guest appearance at the Oscars. The new disc is a sleek selection of ballads and bluegrass, with her Union Station band sounding as supernaturally tight as ever. The ensemble are matchless when they get stuck into the raw earthiness of Woody Guthrie's 'Pastures of Plenty' or the banjo-powered 'Rain Please Go Away' – both sung by guitarist Dan Tyminski – and they demonstrate a near-telepathic rapport on the instrumental 'Unionhouse Branch'. On the downside, there's Krauss's disturbing fondness for treacly wistfulness, found on 'Wouldn't Be So Bad', 'Borderline', and the opener 'Gravity'. They're superb when they stick to hoedowns and hillbilly music, but much less convincing when they lurch towards the middle of the road.

Total word count of piece: 141

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