With her first solo album in nearly eighteen years, bluegrass-country artist Alison Krauss is back with ‘Windy City’, which was released on March 3 through Decca/Capitol.
The album of ten covers (the deluxe edition includes four live tracks) handpicked by Alison and producer Buddy Cannon, has a real old fashioned flavour about it, perfectly matched to Alison’s pure and clear vocals. The old-time flavour is for good reason – in planning the album Alison initially thought the songs should be ones older than her – “I wanted it to be earlier than I remembered.”
Alison has won 27 Grammy awards over her career, and sold over 12 million records to date, and although she had always enjoyed occasionally recording with Buddy Cannon, it wasn’t until she came to sing the lines on Hank Cochran’s track, ‘Make The World Go Away’ for Jamey Johnson’s 2012 album, ‘Living For A Song’, that she realised how much she wanted to work with him.
“That was absolutely the moment,” she says. “Wow! Buddy really makes me want to do a good job.”
‘Windy City’ is a strong album, although tinged with sadness.
“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.”
Standout songs in an album full of highlights include opening track, ‘Losing You’ and ‘All Alone Am I’, both originally released by Brenda Lee and very well suited to Alison’s voice. Another favourite would have to be the Glenn Campbell classic, ‘Gentle On My Mind’, which has been arranged beautifully, and Alison tackles the song with ease. ‘Poison Love’ has been imbued with an almost calypso flavour, giving it an upbeat, almost jolly feeling, while album closer, ‘You Don’t Know Me’, pulls us back to the same slow-dance style we heard at the beginning, with ‘Losing You’.
‘Windy City’ is a beautifully curated album and a fitting return to solo recording for Krauss. Download from iTunes, or buy the CD as well from Amazon. You can also stream on Spotify. Find Alison Krauss online on her official website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.