January 8, 1993
By David Royko
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Every Time You Say Goodbye (Rounder) *** 1/2
Alison Krauss is becoming a hot property by actually getting airplay on Country radio, a nearly unattainable goal in the world of bluegrass. True, she has rounded the edges on this often driven music, but nobody can accuse her of selling out. This album, Krauss' fourth, is the best since her 1987 debut, Too Late To Cry. The completely new band might be one reason, Adam Steffey's mandolin lending a strong second instrumental presence to Krauss' always commanding fiddle. She is also spreading lead vocal chores around, providing some welcome variety. Union Station's Ron Block is a capable songwriter, and his "Jesus Help Me To Stand" is given an ethereal, truly heavenly performance, while Karla Bonoff's "Lose Again" and Sidney Cox's "New Fool" become inviting vehicles for Krauss' mesmerizing voice, all innocence, sweetness and light. Traditionalists may gripe about her soft-focus approach, but Alison Krauss confirms that bluegrass can be both exciting and beautiful.