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article imageInterview with Ron Block from Alison Krauss and Union Station Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 21, 2014 in Entertainment
Ron Block is a veteran singer, songwriter, producer, banjo and guitar player. He has been with Alison Krauss and Union Station since 1991, and has won many Grammy awards and other impressive accolades with the group.
"It's amazing being at the Grammys with our band and being recognized like that," he said.
He released Walking Song, his third solo album for Rounder Records on July 30, which featured such special guest artists as Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, Kate Rusby, Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, among others.
Alison Krauss and Union Station will be going on a co-headlining tour with Country Music Hall of Famer Willie Nelson, and one of their tour stops will be at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "That feels great," he said. "I am looking forward to being with everybody again. When we are off the road, we generally do not see each other, so it's nice to get back together."
Block continued, "I always love coming to New York City. It's one of my favorite places to visit. There is so much going on there and it's beautiful."
Country and bluegrass group Alison Krauss and Union Station
Country and bluegrass group Alison Krauss and Union Station
Randee St. Nicholas
Regarding his future plans, Block remarked, "Hopefully we will get into the studio and make another album soon with Alison Krauss and Union Station. I am already working on my next solo project with Jeff Taylor on piano and accordion, which will be a record of new hymns that sound old. The lyrics are written by Rebecca Reynolds, who wrote the lyrics on my last record, Walking Song. This is going to be more piano and guitar-based. There will be a little fiddle and a little bit of mandolin. It will include various harmony singers such as Julie Lee, who is a great Nashville singer, and Suzanne Cox of The Cox Family is going to sing on several others."
On the key to longevity in the music industry, he shared, "It's being young and being together in the band and having a common vision and purpose. As you get older things may change, since people may have families, but the essential ingredient is that I still like playing our music and I really love the people in our band."
Block is motivated each day simply by the desire of getting better at his craft. "I have always been a motivated guy. Whether that is being a father, playing banjo or writing songs, I just don't want to be in the same place 10 years from now.
He has been fortunate in the duets department, since in Walking Song, he was afforded the chance to work with English songstress Kate Rusby, who sang on three songs, in addition to the fact that he had Alison Krauss on the album. "I had Kate to sing harmony so that was a thrill and Alison sings on the record too. I have all these amazing female vocalists and I have no idea why," he said with a laugh. "They are willing to come and sing on my songs, so it's a wonderful thing."
Block praised bluegrass songstress Dale Ann Bradley and dubbed her as a "great singer." "Dale Ann is the real deal," he said.
He shared that he is drawn to bluegrass music due to its passion. "It's not passive, it's a passionate form of music that comes out of people's souls," he said. "When I first heard it, I was 12 years old. There's a beauty to it."
Block concluded by expressing his appreciation for his fans. "You can't play music for a living without the people that like the music and support it. I am incredibly thankful to all the people that love Alison and love our band. It has been a thrill getting to play music that I really love for a living, and music that I helped create," he said.
To learn more about Ron Block, visit his personal website and for more information on his band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, check out their official homepage.
More about ron block, dan tyminski, alison krauss, Union station, wille nelson
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