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Bluegrass angel Alison Krauss and her skilled band, Union Station, do it again.

Krauss, signed as a fiddle prodigy at 14, has won 17 Grammys and sold 7 million albums. While her fiddle playing is excellent (and we'd like to hear more of it), it's Krauss' voice that is unmatched. She has a crystalline soprano, a soft delivery that draws listeners in, a pinpoint ear for harmony and a very affecting humanity that comes across on the sad, lonely, bittersweet gospel numbers she tends to favor. It's all represented here. Strong cuts among many include Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' "Wouldn't Be So Bad."

The members of Union Station, all consummate musicians, work together like a well-oiled machine, so comfortable with each other they almost have their own sound. A giant of his instrument, Jerry Douglas on dobro is a great addition, but this old fan misses the mandolin and wonders if that's the subtle something that's missing. — Andy Garrigue


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