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Review: Alison Krauss and Union Station captivates Radio City Music Hall Special

Posted Jun 11, 2014 by Markos Papadatos
On June 10, Grammy-winning group Alison Krauss and Union Station played a show at New York's Radio City Music Hall, along with country crooner Willie Nelson.
Country and bluegrass group Alison Krauss and Union Station
Country and bluegrass group Alison Krauss and Union Station
Randee St. Nicholas
Rising country songstress Kacey Musgraves served as their opening act.
Aside from Krauss, the band is made up of Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, Barry Bales and Jerry Douglas.
They commenced their set with "Let Me Touch You For a While," which featured Ron Block on acoustic guitar. Tyminski took lead on "Dust Bowl Children" and as the stage was graced in green lights, it was followed by a neat instrumental jam entitled "Who's Your Uncle," which is a track on Douglas' solo album The Best Kept Secret.
Krauss made her opening remarks, sharing that they are going to have a "wonderful time" this summer touring with Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves.
She immediately broke into "The Lucky One" and "Baby, Now That I Found You," showcasing her mellifluous and polished vocals.
In "Ghost In This House," Krauss displayed her ability to hit the high notes, while maintaining a controlled yet melancholic vocal performance. Tyminski and Bales joined her on harmonies.
"We always like a really sad song," Krauss said. "The sadder the better," she joked. "It tiptoes into the afterlife."
Tyminski soared on the upbeat "Rain Please Go Away," which featured Block on banjo, and Krauss had the audience clapping along on "Sawing on the Strings."
"Wild Bill Jones" featured Tyminski on lead vocals with Krauss on harmonies and fiddle. Equally breathtaking was Krauss' rendition of the up-tempo "Every Time You Say Goodbye."
Krauss displayed her warm sense of humor throughout the evening. She noted that Tyminski has a sculpted beard and that he got a phone call from a Swedish DJ called Avicii, and that they initially thought it was the name of a fragrance, which lead to him recording the single "Hey Brother," which subsequently topped the Billboard dance charts.
During this show, Tyminski sang "Hey Brother" as a collaboration with Jerry Douglas on dobro. They were able to dust off the electronic dance music hit and give it a more rustic feel.
Douglas played a well-received dobro solo that included "American Tune" by Paul Simon and "Spain" by Chick Corea, proving that he is the virtuoso of the instrument. He garnered a standing ovation from the Manhattan audience.
Tyminski resumed his lead vocals on "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn" and Krauss delivered a gorgeous version of "Paper Airplane," as Tyminski played the mandolin.
The band paid homage to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou singing their Grammy-winning hit "Man of Constant Sorrow," as Tyminski sand lead and Bales and Block nailed the harmonies, and Krauss accompanied them on fiddle.
For their encore, the group returned for a brief yet captivating acoustic set. Backed by two acoustic guitars played by Block and Tyminski, Krauss sang the soothing country love ballad "When You Say Nothing At All."
Bales joined Krauss, Block and Tyminski on harmonies on their version of "Whiskey Lullaby," which was a hit duet for Krauss and country mega-star Brad Paisley.
Krauss was able to silence the entire Radio City Music Hall venue as she sang "Down In the River To Pray" a capella, which was musical perfection. For anybody who has any shadow of a doubt as to why Krauss is the female artist with most wins in Grammy history (with 27 trophies), all they need to do is take one listen of this outstanding angelic vocal performance.
Their grand finale was the noteworthy "Your Long Journey," which was a fitting way to end their set.
The Verdict
Overall, Alison Krauss and Union Station put on a stellar concert at Radio City Music Hall. They showcased superb musicianship, tremendous talent and exceptional vocals and harmonies. For anybody that has yet to see them perform live, they ought to jump at the opportunity, since Krauss vocals are heavenly and too good to be true. All of the band members are masters of their instruments. She possesses one of the most purest voices I have ever had the pleasure of listening to in contemporary music, along with fellow award-winning bluegrass songstress Dale Ann Bradley. Their concert at Radio City Music Hall garnered 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information on Alison Krauss and Union Station, visit her official website.