I’ve been a fan of Alison Krauss ever since I heard her breathtaking a Capella rendition of “Down To The River To Pray” in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?. That song and 15 others make up this beautifully eclectic mess of music called “A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection”.
The official press release from Rounder Records reads as follows.
“A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection” is comprised of 16 tracks, highlighting Alison Krauss’s career outside of her traditional releases with longtime band Union Station. The album features Krauss’s collaboration with John Waite on the single “Missing You,” as well as Krauss’s contributions to film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated songs “The Scarlet Tide” and “You Will Be My Ain True Love,” written for the motion picture “Cold Mountain,” and “Down to the River to Pray” from the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Known for her collaborations, Krauss also includes several duets in the collection such as the 2003 hit with Brad Paisley, “Whiskey Lullaby,” and her duet with James Taylor for the tribute album “Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers,” “How’s the World Treating You.” The collection debuts five new songs: “You’re Just a Country Boy,” “Jacob’s Dream,” “Simple Love,” “Lay Down Beside Me,” and “Away Down the River,” all of which feature Krauss as a producer.
Alison’s voice is as enchanting as ever with an ability to completely remove me from my head and exist in between the notes she sings. There are very few singers who have that ability and I sincerely hope she keeps making the music she wants to make and avoids the commercial pitfalls of overproduced studio albums. There are a few weak spots in the album but they are more than made up for by the rest of the songs. The sweetest surprise for me was the cover of “Baby Mine”. A little ditty you may remember from a truly heartbreaking scene in the Disney classic Dumbo. I didn’t think the song alone would be as moving but Alison’s voice is absolutely magical and takes you right back to the outside of the tiny circus car with bars on the windows where Dumbo’s mother comforts him in the darkness. Luckily for us, Alison’s voice carries much farther than Mrs. Jumbo’s.