One of America’s finest Bluegrass artists Alison Krauss returns to her roots with Windy City, a collection of classic country cover versions which gives an intriguing insight into the singer’s earliest influences. It’s her first release in 6 years and also her first solo collection since 1999’s Forget About It. The tracks chosen for inclusion on this album have been carefully selected and work not only as testament to great artists from the past such as Brenda Lee and Glen Campbell, but serve as perfect vehicles to showcase Krauss’ stunning vocal capabilities.
Windy City is a mellow, soulful and melancholic listening experience and the songs are consistently captivating. Tracks such as River in the Rain (originally by Roger Miller) and Willy Nelson’s I Never Cared For You are beautifully arranged and passionately delivered.
The quality of the record is augmented by slick production from veteran Buddy Cannon and fine contributions from accomplished musicians Dan Tyminski, Ron Block and Barry Bales, all of whom are members of Krauss’ long time band Union Station. It’s an unashamedly old fashioned album and marks something of a musical transition from her more progressive instrumental collaborations with Union Station and Robert Plant. However, it’s easy to see why these songs appealed to her artistic sensibility. It’s a collection seeped in sorrow, heartbreak and longing, themes that have been prevalent in much of her back catalogue.
Heartfelt, emotional and irresistible, driven by arguably the most angelic voice in contemporary music, Windy City is hypnotically immersive throughout. This is easy listening at its finest.