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Alison Krauss and Kathleen Edwards Tear Up Austin City Limits
By Jim Moulton

Alison Krauss' Union Station are probably the best bluegrass band in the land. Alison playing fiddle and singing. Jerry Douglas on Dobro. Ron Block on banjo and guitar. Dan Tyminski on guitar, mandolin and vocals. Plus a drummer/percussionist and a bass player.

Alison started out with "Restless" from her current CD. Their whole sound was incredible, up to the quality of the CD. The band played several cuts from the new CD Lonely Runs Both Ways. They also played a couple of great instrumentals. Though the genre is bluegrass, Alison's love songs have a pop touch to them. 

Alison and Tyminski sound great together on "Killing Floor", just some great harmonies on this great slow ballad. Douglas plain takes off on the Dobro on this song.

Tyminiski sings a song on his own which has a more old-time touch to it. Krauss is more than an adequate fiddle player. Block plays some great banjo on this song "Rain Go Away".

Their instruments are vintage guitars and banjos that are miked up rather than using pickups which gives you a purer sound.

Block who plays lead guitar sticks mostly to banjo during this performance. Block plays a beautiful guitar break on a beautiful sunburst Bourgeois guitar during the mid-tempo ballad "Gravity", which Alison sings with great emotion (just a sweet voice). What a sensitive feel the group has for each other. Well, the 5 or 6 song set ends too quickly with all of the vocal songs from her new CD, though they did a bit of everything in their set.

Kathleen Edwards comes out cooking with "In State" from her latest CD, "Back To Me". Love her beat up old Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar. She has a great band, bass, drums, lead guitar and keyboards. Her lead guitarist, Colin Cripps, sings backup vocals. 

The second song is a slow cooker that I am not familiar with, some great slide guitar by Cripps. Edwards sings with raw emotion and her lyrics are painfully honest. She plays a Les Paul Jr. on the second song which is pictured on her "Back To Me" CD. Some nice Hammond organ. Her guitarist jams this out nicely, getting some tones from his electric Gibson SG. 

Song three is back to acoustic for Edwards and a slower ballad, "Good Things Come When You Stop Waiting" from Back To Me, a different version than the CD version, very creative, no hurry, Edwards likes to bask in the moment. I must say that her drummer is excellent.

Song four is the upbeat rocker title track "Back To Me" from her last CD. She nails this with her tight band.

She finishes up with a beauty of a mid tempo song not familiar to me. Edwards likes rockin' with the boys when playin' rhythm guitar.

What a great set!! Edwards seems in awe of her surroundings (Austin City Limits). Taking note of the other names of her band, lots of them appeared on Back To Me.

Both Edwards and Krauss were extremely good, but I will say that Edwards was looser and Union Station was very good, but very predictable in their songs, sounding exactly like the album cuts. 

Check out their websites:

Also, check out PBS, they play these Austin City Limits shows over and over again, since there are so many stations and they seem to play what shows they want. Go to PBS's website for more about Austin City Limits, a great long running music show from Texas.

Related Links:
Kathleen Edwards - Back To Me - CSO Review
AlisonKrauss.com - Official site 
KathleenEdwards.com - Official Site 
Austin City Limits - Official Site

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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