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Alison Krauss And Union Station
Alison Krauss + Union Station Live

Review By Steven Stone
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Alison Krauss and Union Station Alison Krauss + Union Station Live

CD Number: Rounder Records 11661-0515-2

 

  Although there have been fine female bluegrass singers and songwriters in the past such as Hazel Dickens and Emmylou Harris have achieved success, Alison Krauss must be considered the first woman bluegrass superstar. Ever since her first release Alison Krauss’ new CDs have maintained a remarkably high level of musical and technical consistency. Her latest recording, Alison Krauss + Union Station Live, shows why the audiences at her regularly sold out live shows always go home happy.

Recorded over two evenings, April 29th and 30th 2002, at the Louisville Palace in Louisville, Kentucky (except one cut – Down To the River To Pray which was recorded at the Austin City Limits TV show), using Sony’s new DSD recording format, this two-CD set manages to combine both great playing and great sound. Union Station’s core members, Dan Tyminsky on guitar, mando, and baritone vocals, Ron Block on banjo, guitar, and tenor vocals, and Barry Bales on acoustic bass, are joined by Jerry Douglas on dobro and Larry Atamanuik on drums. This ensemble produces some of the tightest, most technically complex bluegrass music you will ever hear. Their precision three-part harmonies coupled with dazzling solos and complex arrangements set a dizzyingly high musical standard.

The sound on Alison Krauss + Union Station Live is nothing short of state of the art. The Sony DSD recording process is simply the most transparent and least colored methodology currently available. Chief engineer Larry Paczosa, assisted by Neal Cappellino, Tracy Martinson, Eric Bickel, Thomas Johnson, and K.C.Groves, captured the pristine quality of Alison Krauss and Union Station’s live show. Frank Edmundson, their road manager and house sound engineer who recently passed away at age 49, was renown in bluegrass circles as one of the best live sound guys around. The sonics on Alison Krauss + Union Station Live give you a taste of just how good amplified music can sound when done well.

Alison Krauss + Union Station Live is a must-have for Alison Krauss and bluegrass fans as well as anyone else who enjoys virtuoso acoustic music.

 

 

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