Alison Krauss, Windy City. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

There is no such thing as a short gust of music when it comes the phenomenally talented Alison Krauss, it is the bracing effect she has on your soul when she sings that is the true point of her gift and ability. There is a storm in those lungs waiting to break down barriers, smash away conceived ideas of how music is supposed to influence and guide you. It is a resonating sound of grandeur and positivity that the multi-award winning vocalist captures so well in her carefully selected selection of classic songs that make up the entrancing Windy City.

Windy City, produced by Nashville veteran Buddy Cannon, is arguably one of the finest moments in Ms. Krauss’ long and illustrious career; to tackle songs from before your time, to show that those songs which thrilled millions in a time when music was perhaps more revered, still have the capacity to make a modern audience sit up and think beyond their normal and possibly comfortable spheres of enjoyment.

The same openness of transferring emotions with a voice that could hold its own in any august company is still clearly audible, so visible that it creates scenery, a back drop of colour and subtle carved out meaning, yet it is also one that holds a different kind of power, one driven by a turbine, one that keeps giving on a scale which defines just how immense some songs can be when delivered with a different perspective.

This invigorating album, one of depth and charm is liberating, it has escape written through it and the very essence of honouring the past, as well as a couple of songs that fit in so well with the overall idea that they are skin tight and waterproof to the touch.

In tracks such as It’s Goodbye And So Long To You, originally recorded by The Osborne Brothers with Mac Wiseman, I Never Cared For You, recorded initially by the genius of Willie Nelson, You Don’t Know Me, popularised by Ray Charles in the 1962 album Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music and the wonderful but more modern River In The Rain by Roger Miller for his Broadway musical, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Alison Krauss and producer Buddy Cannon take the expression of the past and give it a smile in the modern day, a deep resonating smile of absolute integrity and heartfelt love.

Windy City is a joyous album, one of conviction and search for something that along the way, no matter how sophisticated we believe we have come, we have lost and confused with life as stagnant.

Alison Krauss’s Windy City is released on March 3rd.

Ian D. Hall