Alison Krauss & Union Station
Saturday, August 21, 2011
packed house, further proof that South Florida is further becoming a
beckoning locale for Americana music of all varieties. And given the
stately setting of the lovely Au Rene Theater, there isn't a better
showcase for a band whose sophisticated style and populist approach have
made them a top draw both here and abroad. While their 2007
collaboration with Robert Plant may have elevated their stature, it's
clear they don't need another marquee name to define their direction.
Consistently tight and cohesive, their strength is in their nimble
playing and Krauss' soaring vocals, and given the extra ingredient that
Jerry Douglas' remarkable dobro and lap steel add to the mix, they're
clearly one of the most adept outfits anywhere.
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The other additive that the band takes full advantage of is their choice of tunes. The hits find a fit, specifically "Baby, Now That I've Found You" and "When You Say Nothing At All," two tracks that helped them navigate the cross over divide early on. And by drawing liberally from their recent album, Paper Airplane, they seized on its most poignant perspectives, from the resilient title track. which defined the physical challenges that went into the album's making, to its most heartbreaking ballads. Their take on Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day" was especially affecting, and proved that if anyone could transcend the original, then indeed Krauss and her companions can clearly take the honors.
Random detail: The band's backdrop added interest and ambiance. It started with what looked like a clothesline and then as the curtains parted, gave way to a series of nature stills and videos. It clearly enhanced both the mood and melodies.
By the way: Dawes deserves discovery. With a little luck, they could soon be stars.