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Krauss is back, leading new release pack

Friday, February 17, 2017 – Only 18 years after her last solo disc, Allson Krauss returns with "Windy City." The bluegrasser expands well beyond that sound with country, jazz and other sounds. Krauss covers 10 classic songs that she selected with producer Buddy Cannon. Among them are Glenn Campbell's "Gentle On My Mind," Willie Nelson's "I Never Cared For You," Eddie Arnold's "You Don't Know Me," which he wrote with Cindy Walker, and Brenda Lee's "Losing You." Krauss spent her entire recording career solo and with Union Station until this release on Capitol.

Nikki Lane is out with her third album, "Highway Queen" on New West Records. The 10-song set from the South Carolina native and current Nashville resident finds Lane mining Outlaw Country sounds. Lane and fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Tyler co-produced the disc recorded in Denton, Texas.

Son Volt, led by Jay Farrar, is out with "Notes of Blue." The band now consists of Jacob Edwards on drums, Mark Spencer on bass, Gary Hunt on fiddle and Jason Kardong on pedal steel. Farrar produced the 10-song release, which was influenced by the blues. Think Mississippi Fred McDowell and Skip James touchstones.

The Gibson Brothers do the bluegrass brothers harmony thing on "In the Ground." The 13-song disc is their first to contain only originals, quite the contrast with their previous release, "Brotherhood." That was recorded as a tribute to brother duets in bluegrass.

"Nashville Duets" by the Nashville cast is out, continuing the series of albums from the television show of the same name. The compilation features collaborations from some of couples as heard throughout the series. Since the show's debut in 2012, Big Machine Records has released eight "Nashville" soundtracks.

More news for Alison Krauss

CD reviews for Alison Krauss

Paper Airplane CD review - Paper Airplane
If we've learned anything over the 7 years that have passed since the last Alison Krauss & Union Station record (2004's "Lonely Runs Both Ways"), it's that Krauss doesn't necessarily need her band for success. And the same can be said for the band regarding Krauss. During the hiatus, Krauss scored a mega-hit with "Raising Sand," her collaboration with Robert Plant from 2007. At the same time, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dan Tyminski and Dobro »»»
A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection CD review - A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection
The liner notes for the new collection of songs by Alison Krauss gives notice that, unlike the last collection ("Now that I've Found You" in 1995), this one showcases Krauss alone, far from Union Station, the band that first brought her into the spotlight. She's been a recognized solo artist for a while now. There's no doubt that Krauss has traveled far from her bluegrass/traditional roots. But for anyone who needs proof of that, this collection is a good argument - she »»»
Lonely Runs Both Ways CD review - Lonely Runs Both Ways
Over the past decade, Alison Krauss + Union Station have created and fine-tuned an approach that can deliver restrained, moody ballads and mid-tempo songs, hard-edged bluegrass and traditional material and lithe instrumentals with equal helpings of skill and conviction. The result is one of the most distinctive and compelling sounds in popular music, a verdict ratified by a slew of awards - Krauss herself owns more Grammies than any other female artist - and invitations to join all kinds of »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Trampled by Turtles overcome sad songs – There's light in the darkness of Trampled by Turtles. The latter is in the subject matter of the songs - there's a lot of doom and gloom in these relationships. There doesn't seem to be a lot of happy moments. As if to underscore that, the stage was often saturated in dark hues. So, where's the light? Well, despite the cup... »»»
Concert Review: Strange bedfellows be damned, Isbell, Thompson make it work no problem – It would be hard to imagine a more unlikely bill. The combination of Jason Isbell and Richard Thompson sharing the same stage might seem implausible to fans of either man. Nevertheless, the commonality found in their skills as songwriters made it all work, and though some might have some reservations about having a 50-year veteran like Thompson playing... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Hard Times Are Relative CD review - Hard Times Are Relative
Jason Boland and The Stragglers serve up the ninth helping of their unapologetic, get it or not, country, in the past 20 years. This appears to almost be two EP's with the first mostly being a hard country dance cd and the second being a little more "out there" mix of fun and contemplative tunes, much less easy to categorize. »»»
Life is Good on the Open Road CD review - Life is Good on the Open Road
After a four-year-break from recording, Duluth, Minn. sextet Trampled By Turtles return with its eighth studio release of edgy bluegrass and Indie folk/rock. Lead singer Dave Simonett wrote all of the mostly dark themed lyrics with the lone instrumental that showcases the band's topflight musicianship, "Good Land," credited to bandmate Erik Berry. »»»
Last Man Standing CD review - Last Man Standing
Willie Nelson is 123 years old and this is his 85th album. No, that's not right, He's 85 and this is something like his 123rd album. At a certain point, the years and the numbers don't mean much any more. The bottom line is Willie Nelson has been around for a long time and made a lot of music.  »»»
Graffiti U CD review - Graffiti U
It's telling how two songs on Keith Urban's "Graffiti U" album chug along to a reggae beat because pop rhythms and non-country elements are the obvious inspirations for this collection. Opener "Coming Home" may borrow (steal?) a guitar riff from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but this is where that country road begins and ends. »»»
Voices CD review - Voices
Having a dozen or so original songs to make an album has never mattered to Tom Rush nor has the idea of churning out an album every year or two. The iconic '60s folk singer has spread out about 20 originals over the span of 11 studio albums. »»»
Mr. Jukebox CD review - Mr. Jukebox
Apparently someone to forgot to tell Joshua Hedley that country music has passed him by. Where does Hedley, aka apparently known as the Mayor of Lower Broad, come off to incorporating honky tonk, Texas swing, western swing and countrypolitan all in the first three songs of his debut?  »»»