Lonely Runs Both Ways

If you’re looking to trade in that crappy CD you got from Aunt Martha for Christmas for something really good, you can’t go wrong with the latest from exquisite Americana songstress Alison Krauss and her boys. Krauss’ beautiful, delicate singing is backed up by a top-notch crew consisting of Dobro master Jerry Douglas, mandolin-and-guitar player/vocalist Dan Tyminski, banjo/guitar man and vocalist Ron Block and bassist/vocalist Barry Bales, as well by Krauss’ own superb fiddle and viola playing. Krauss’ moving voice sets the mood on the two slow and lovely, somewhat melancholy album openers—“Gravity” (“And the people who love me still ask me/ When are you coming back to town?”) and “Restless”—two of four tunes written by Robert Lee Castleman. Foot-tapping bluegrass songs, such as Del McCoury’s “Rain Please Go Away,” sung so finely by Tyminski, and Douglas’ original instrumental, “Unionhouse Branch,” nicely punctuate this largely gentle, pretty album. Krauss’ closing “A Living Prayer,” penned by Block, shows her voice in all its tender and soaring glory.