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Alison Krauss

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Biography

Alison Krauss (born July 23, 1971) is an American bluegrass-country singer and fiddle player. She entered the music industry at a young age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time on her brother's album at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album at sixteen in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss & Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

Krauss made her recording debut in 1985 on her brother Viktor's independent album, Different Strokes. She performed with John Pennell, bassist and songwriter, from the age of twelve in a band called "Silver Rail". Pennell later formed Union Station, and Krauss joined at his invitation, replacing their previous fiddler Andrea Zonn. Pennell remains one of her favorite songwriters and wrote some of her early work including the popular "Every Time You Say Goodbye." Later that year she signed to Rounder Records, and in 1987, at sixteen, her debut album Too Late to Cry was released with Union Station as her backup band.

Her next solo release in 1999, Forget About It, included her only track to appear on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, "Stay." The album was certified gold, and charted within the top seventy-five of the Billboard 200 and in the top five of the country chart. In addition, the track "That Kind of Love" eventually became included in another episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Krauss was married to Pat Bergeson from 1997 to 2001, and they had one son, Sam, who was born in July 1999.

Adam Steffey left Union Station in 1998, and renowned dobro player Jerry Douglas replaced him. Douglas had provided studio back-up to Krauss's records since 1987's Too Late To Cry. She thought highly of his abilities, going so far as to introduce Douglas on their album Live as "the greatest dobro player the world has ever known." Their next album, New Favorite, was released on August 14, 2001. The album went on to win the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, with the single "The Lucky One" winning a Grammy as well. New Favorite was followed up by the double platinum double album Live in 2002 and a release of a DVD of the same live performance in 2003. Both the album and the DVD were recorded during a performance at The Louisville Palace.

Krauss's earliest musical experience was as an instrumentalist, though her style has grown to focus more on her vocals with a band providing most of the instrumentation. Musicians she enjoys include Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, and AC/DC. She cites Dolly Parton, with whom she has since collaborated a number of times, as a major influence. Some credit Krauss and Union Station, at least partially, with a recent revival of interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Despite being together for nearly two decades and winning numerous awards, she said the group was "just beginning right now" (in 2002) because "in spite of all the great things that have happened for the band, feel musically it's just really beginning." Although she alternates between solo releases and works with the band, she has said there is no difference in her involvement between the two.



 


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