Today, we watched and heard a DVD of nine songs entitled,
“A Hundred Miles Or More: Live From the Tracking Room,”
featuring Alison Krauss and her frequent collaborators,
Union Station. Other guests performing with her include
John Waite, James Taylor, Tony Rice and Brad Paisley.
These songs were interspersed with interviews with Krauss,
her backup musicians, various producers and songwriters
involved in this project.
The Tracking Room is a well-known studio, located in Nashville,
Tennessee, and this 2007 recording session is in the
Country/Bluegrass vein. I’d say more “Country” than “Bluegrass,”
because for the most part, these songs are decidedly “mellow.”
Krauss only breaks out her fiddle during two or three songs,
one of which is the lively “Sawing On The Strings,” written by
Alison Krauss (1971-) began playing the fiddle as a young woman,
entering numerous contests and winning some of them. She was
then considered to be a promising, “up and coming” Bluegrass
player. Although she continues to play her violin, the primary
emphasis in recent years has been on her singing. She must
be doing something right. Alison Krauss has won 26 Grammys,
more of those awards than any other vocalist, male or female!
Her voice is truly beautiful and angelic. In Classical parlance, it
would probably be referred to as a “lyric soprano.” Even though
her tendency is to sing songs written by others, Krauss infuses
them with an attractive emotional vulnerability. Whether singing
duets with the likes of James Taylor or John Waite, or performing
a solo with her colleagues from Union Station, all of her songs are
tastefully performed. Backup musicians were observed on the
banjo, mandolin, guitar, string bass, dobro, and organ, and the
studio ambiance had a warm and immediate sound quality. I found
the song, “Jacob’s Dream,” to be particularly moving.
While this music was pleasant, I personally would have preferred
to have heard a greater variety of songs, instead of the
predominant mellow Country tunes. Still, it was mentioned in one
of the interviews that Alison Krauss never conforms to “trends,”
thereby making it unlikely that she’ll ever go out of style.
I think that her voice is truly beautiful; in fact, I can’t currently
recall a more beautiful voice in this, or any other Pop/Rock genre.
I just don’t find this type of music “engaging” or “compelling.”
“A Hundred Miles Or More: Live From the Tracking Room,” is an
excellently engineered 2008 release on the Rounder label. At a
mere 57 minutes without bonus extras, this short DVD is
recommended for fans of Alison Krauss.