Buoyed by contributions to the best-selling soundtracks O Brother, Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain, Alison Krauss and Union Station not only gained recognition as one of America's hottest contemporary bluegrass bands, but also helped nurture new interest in roots music in general. Still, Krauss and company's approach is far too varied to lock them into any single genre; the multitude of winsome ballads dotting their latest album, Lonely Runs Both Ways, clearly indicates that they're courting a wider audience. Even while appearing to yield to commercial considerations, however, their musical prowess remains the focus, thanks to Krauss's emotive vocals, adept fiddle playing, and a superb instrumental ensemble that includes the blistering fretwork of dobro wiz Jerry Douglas. As the group's live concerts demonstrate, their hoe-down won't be slowed down.
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