alison krauss & union station

Alison Krauss’ new album Windy City is her first effort away from her band Union Station since Raising Sand and her debut for Capitol Records. The album features Alison performing 10 classic songs that she carefully selected with producer Buddy Cannon.

Following Raising Sand, her platinum 2007 album with Robert Plant that won six GRAMMY Awards including Album of the Year, and 2011’s Paper Airplane with her longtime collaborators Union Station, which won the GRAMMY Award for Best Bluegrass Album and topped Billboard’s Folk, Country and Bluegrass charts, Alison began to feel the tug of inspiration.

Alison inhabits - and liberates - the very essence that makes each of the songs eternal.

“Usually it’s just all songs first,” she says. “It was the first time I’d ever not had songs picked out, and it was just about a person.” That person was veteran Nashville producer Buddy Cannon. Alison had always enjoyed the occasional recording sessions she did for Buddy. But something else happened when she came in to sing her lead lines on Hank Cochran’s “Make The World Go Away” for Jamey Johnson’s 2012 album Living For A Song. “That was absolutely the moment,” she says. “Wow! Buddy really makes me want to do a good job.”

Buddy has used his playing, songwriting and production skills to bring out the best in a wide variety of artists since the early 70’s. He has written award-winning and chart-topping songs for artists such as Vern Gosdin, Mel Tillis, George Strait, Glen Campbell, George Jones and Don Williams. He has also won the ACM’s “Producer Of The Year” award and produced albums for Willie Nelson, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Alabama, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Chesney, and even Merle Haggard’s final solo album.

At the beginning Alison thought the songs chosen should be older than herself. “I wanted it to be earlier than I remembered,” she explains. And although the two of them subsequently decided to relax those boundaries just a little, it was only to allow in songs that somehow had the same kind of feeling as the others. Mostly, it turned out, these were songs of heartache, but of a distinct and particular kind.

What she and Buddy have created is an unusual and invigorating chimera – an album suffused with sadness that somehow rarely sounds that way. “It’s almost like you didn’t know it was sad,” Alison says, “because it doesn’t sound weak. It doesn’t have a pitiful part to it, where so many sad songs do. But these don’t. And I love that about it. I love that there’s strength underneath there. That whatever those stories are, they didn’t destroy. That that person made it right through it. I love that.”

Alison inhabits – and liberates – the very essence that makes each of the songs eternal. While they span different eras and musical genres, there is a unifying sensibility. Some of the songs are familiar – like “Gentle On My Mind,” a signature song of Glen Campbell’s, and “You Don’t Know Me” which was a hit for Eddy Arnold and Ray Charles. Others were lesser known, like Willie Nelson’s “I Never Cared For You” and “All Alone Am I,” originally recorded by Brenda Lee. Some were songs she’d never heard before; some were songs she’d known nearly her whole life, particularly those she brought in from the bluegrass world. Alison had no idea when she suggested to Buddy that they record “Dream of Me,” a song she recalled from childhood, that he had written it. It took some persuasion, but he agreed to sing backup on the track, along with his daughter Melonie Cannon.

the union station

Alison Krauss’ most recent triumph, the certified-platinum Raising Sand, her 2007 collaboration with Robert Plant and producer T Bone Burnett, notched up a total of six Grammy® Awards, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, bringing her unsurpassed total to 26. That mesmerizing modern-day masterpiece sets the stage for another stunner: Paper Airplane, the artist’s first album of all-new recordings in partnership with her remarkably skillful and renowned band Union Station since 2004’s Lonely Runs Both Ways.

Union Station’s banjoist/guitarist/vocalist Ron Block is something of a musical Huck Finn, a tireless adventurer exploring various styles yet rooted firmly in the bluegrass-country tradition. An in-demand session musician, he’s played on recordings by Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Little Big Town, Josh Turner, and many others. As a songwriter Ron has written 10 AKUS songs, including “In The Palm of Your Hand,” “A Living Prayer,” and “There is a Reason.” A solo artist as well, he has released seven recordings of his own since 2000.
Douglas is a world-renowned Dobro player, and has played with Alison Krauss and Union Station since 1998. His transcendent technique and his passionate musicality has helped him net fourteen Grammy Awards, three CMA awards, and numerous International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, including multiple Dobro Player of the Year wins and Entertainer of the Year with the Earls of Leicester. Jerry has performed and recorded with everyone from Phish to Paul Simon, from Garth Brooks to Mumford & Sons. In his time outside of AKUS, Jerry continues to expand his musical vision and horizons as leader of the Jerry Douglas Band and The Earls of Leicester, and as co-Music Director the acclaimed BBC television series Transatlantic Sessions. Douglas also produced Alison Krauss’s 1990 album, I’ve Got That Old Feeling.
Bassist Barry Bales has been a member of Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1990. In that time, he has become a successful producer and songwriter, as well as one of the most in-demand session players in acoustic music. Barry has received 15 Grammys, 22 International Bluegrass Music Association awards - including 4 Bass Player of the Year trophies - 1 Country Music Association award, and 2 Academy of Country Music awards, including Song of the Year for "Nobody To Blame" written with and recorded by Chris Stapleton. He is also a passionate outdoorsman and conservationist, as well as manager of his sixth-generation family farm.
Tyminski joined AKUS in 1994 to contribute guitar, mandolin and vocals. Dan is also widely recognized for his other projects, including award-winning solo albums and myriad guest appearances. His role as the singing voice of George Clooney in the Coen Brothers’ film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? yielded a surprise hit single with “I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow,” and helped to launch a renaissance in bluegrass music. Dan’s voice again made global musical rounds through the lead vocals he provided for Swedish DJ/electronic dance artist, Avicii. “Hey Brother” became an international, chart-topping hit. When not on the road, Tyminski records with the likes of Leann Rimes, Joan Osborne, Brad Paisley and Charlie Haden. Dan spends his free time working on his golf game. He often participates in charity tournaments and was named by Golf Digest as one of the top ten golfers in music.