Sitting underneath the Red Rocks stars, Stephanie Sullivan and I quickly realized that we were hands down the youngest members in the audience.
There would be no need to card audience members tonight.
While bluegrass is typically a genre enjoyed by an older audience, at only 40 years old Alison Krauss has become a household name and one of the most prolific figures in country music. Krauss released her fist solo album in 1987 and joined with Union Station in early 1989. Since then she has racked up a record 26 grammys, the most of any female artist to date. Itâ€™s easy to see why after watching an incredible performance by both her and the remarkable members of Union Station.
The show started out slow, a barrage of technical problems stalled the performers for over an hour and the audience was clearly irritated. So what do you do to appease your half-drunk, grandma age concert goer?
Bring out the most badass slide guitar player ever.
Enter Jerry Douglas.
Being a guitarist myself I was absolutely drooling over the technical perfection of Douglas’s playing. Slide guitar is a very difficult style to master and when it’s done well it sounds incredible. Yeah I was googly-eyeing, fan-girling a 50 something year old slide player in cowboy chaps. I’m unashamed.
When the band finally took the stage the fans dropped their canes and stood to their feet in utter exhilaration. Most of the set was from their older releases and included many songs from their “Lovely Runs both Ways” album. Tragically, they failed to perform any material from Krauss’s collaboration with Robert Plant. “Raising Sands” was certified platinum and received 5 grammy’s in 2007 so I was highly confused as to why it didn’t receive some sort of encore nod from the band.
However, Krauss and Union Station appeased my bluegrass soul with “Constant Sorrow,” the hit song from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” with George Clooney. Turns out George Clooney actually can’t sing and the voice-over came from front man, Dan Tyminski.
You bet your bifocals that I stood up and danced in a fiddle induced fervor.
Not ready for full blown bluegrass? Check out the band Gangstagrass. This fusion of hip-hop and roots is always a party pleaser.