Alison Krauss and Union Station
Release Date: 4/12/2011
Alison Krauss and Union Station are back with their new album, Paper Airplane. Paper Airplane is the follow-up to their 2004 triple Grammy Award winning album, Lonely Runs Both Ways. This tightly knit group of musicians are no strangers to success. Their work has appeared on film soundtracks such as Cold Mountain and O Brother, Where Art Thou? We must not forget Alison’s duet with Robert Planet on Raising Sand, which won six Grammys including “Record of the Year.” Alison’s success comes from her ability to transcend grass roots, country, and pop music. This success includes 26 Grammy Awards and selling over 12 million albums through Rounder Records since signing with them at 14 years old.
Paper Airplane is one of Alison and Union Station’s greatest works, and one of the best albums of the year thus far. The entire album is stitched together like a quilt. Each piece tells a story of trials and tribulations in life. “Paper Airplane” is the first single off the album and the recording process wasn’t easy for Krauss. Alison had to put a halt on the studio recording due to crippling migraines that only happened once before in her life. Alison mentions, “There have been records that were tough to make, but this one took the cake.” She goes on to say, “I make judgments based on how something makes me feel, and because I wasn’t physically well, everything was kind of gray and nothing sounded right. So after we recorded a bunch of things, we took a long break, because it just wasn’t working.”
Alison also turned to her longtime go-to songwriter, Robert Lee Castleman, for a little assistance. When she approached him he mentioned that he was in a “dry spell” and very “uninspired.” It didn’t take long when Alison arrived at Robert’s house for the juices to start flowing again. She stayed long enough to make grilled cheese sandwiches before Robert said he had a melody. When Alison asked what he was going call it he answered, “Paper Airplanes.”
Alison also tackles Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day,” which was originally sung by his wife Linda. The first time Alison heard the original version that T-Bone Burnett played it for her 3 years ago, she refused to sing it. She says, “I just couldn’t go there at the time.” The track is beautiful but it seems to stand apart from the rest of the album.
It’s tracks that are based around on life’s trials and tribulation like “Dustbowl Children,” “Lay My Burden Down,” and “Sinking Stone” that take you back to reality. While “My Love Follows You Where You Go” takes the cake for being the best love song. It also happens to be one of my favorites off the album.
Alison only picked tracks that felt true to her. She notes, “The only thing you can do is record things that move you-that have a connection with you-and to represent yourself truthfully.” The openness is heartfelt and makes this one of the best albums to date.
Tracks to download:
My Love Follows You Where You Go
Lay My Burden Down