Alison Krauss and Union Station Lonely Runs Both Ways

The sweetest voice in bluegrass returns with her first studio album in three years. Backed by her long-time high and lonesome players Union Station, Krauss turns in yet another formidable disc. Lonely Runs Both Ways mixes mountain hoedowns ("Union House Branch” — written by dobro player Jerry Douglas) with lonesome bluegrass ballads ("A Living Prayer,” "Goodbye is All We Have,” and "Doesn’t Have to Be This Way”) to name but a few. A couple gospel songs are also thrown in for good measure. Recorded in Nashville, Krauss’ latest features songs from some of the band’s favourite songwriters. The disc opens with a pair from songsmith Robert Lee Castleman: the angelic "Gravity” and the tender "Restless.” The band also covers songs by fellow roots musicians Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Mindy Smith and Del McCoury. Krauss reconfirms why her soothing voice has touched so many music lovers and led the recent resurgence in bluegrass music. (Rounder)