DVD Review: Alison Krauss, A Hundred Miles or More: Live From the Tracking Room

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November 15, 2008

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uss-dvd.jpg” alt=”” width=”186″ height=”186″ />Alison Krauss
A Hundred Miles or More: Live From the Tracking Room

The teens and tweens have their Taylor Swift, but for the most discerning music aficionados, Alison Krauss is our Cinderella story. Through the sheer force of a talent both prodigious and boundless, she has become a music icon, despite recording for an independent label and having nary a handful of radio hits to her credit. She’s so well-respected that there’s never a shortage of credible artists who are looking to work with her, and on her new DVD, A Hundred Miles or More: Live From the Tracking Room, it’s quickly apparent just how deep their affection for Krauss is.

Through a series of interviews interspersed with stripped-down musical performances, they testify. James Taylor describes her singing as “hot chocolate on top of vanilla ice cream.” Brad Paisley praises her as “the epitome of what the female voice sounds like,” and declares that if he gets to heaven and the angels don’t sound as good as her, he’s going to ask to come back. Tony Rice bristles with pride that he’s one of her primary influences. John Waite is “just proud to be part of Alison’s world”, crediting her for elevating “Missing You” far beyond its origins.

The contrast between their effusive praise and Krauss’ commentary, where she giggles like a starstruck schoolgirl, is remarkable to watch. But she also reveals the thought process that goes into her recording of material that could be horrifically maudlin in lesser hands. This DVD was originally a television special for promotion of the compilation A Hundred Miles or More, and in my review of that album, I noted how uniformly strong the new tracks were. They walk a fine line between dark and depressing, and Krauss’ interviews here shed some light on how she was able to bring some hope to her performances of them.

The DVD itself is sparse, featuring only nine performances, but each one included is worth the time of even casual Krauss fans. I believe that “Jacob’s Dream”, “Away Down the River” and “Simple Love” rank among the very best Krauss recordings ever, and they are the highlights of this set, though it will probably receive more attention for the collaborations with Taylor, Paisley, Rice and Waite.

It would’ve been nice to see the content significantly expanded from the original television special, and it’s baffling that there is so little information included about the musicians backing her. Still, it was classy of Great American Country to allow this material to be released, as it documents a talent for the ages in what may be the peak of her career.

Video Stream: Alison Krauss & Tony Rice, “Shadows”
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Alison Krauss
A Hundred Miles or More: Live From the Tracking Room

The teens and tweens have their Taylor Swift, but for the most discerning music aficionados, Alison Krauss is our Cinderella story. Through the sheer force of a talent both prodigious and boundless, she has become a music icon, despite recording for an independent label and having nary a handful of radio hits to her credit. She’s so well-respected that there’s never a shortage of credible artists who are looking to work with her, and on her new DVD, A Hundred Miles or More: Live From the Tracking Room, it’s quickly apparent just how deep their affection for Krauss is.
Through a series of interviews interspersed with stripped-down musical performances, they testify. James Taylor describes her singing as “hot chocolate on top of vanilla ice cream.” Brad Paisley praises her as “the epitome of what the female voice sounds like,” and declares that if he gets to heaven and the angels don’t sound as good as her, he’s going to ask to come back. Tony Rice bristles with pride that he’s one of her primary influences. John Waite is “just proud to be part of Alison’s world”, crediting her for elevating “Missing You” far beyond its origins.
The contrast between their effusive praise and Krauss’ commentary, where she giggles like a starstruck schoolgirl, is remarkable to watch. But she also reveals the thought process that goes into her recording of material that could be horrifically maudlin in lesser hands. This DVD was originally a television special for promotion of the compilation A Hundred Miles or More, and in my review of that album, I noted how uniformly strong the new tracks were. They walk a fine line between dark and depressing, and Krauss’ interviews here shed some light on how she was able to bring some hope to her performances of them.
The DVD itself is sparse, featuring only nine performances, but each one included is worth the time of even casual Krauss fans. I believe that “Jacob’s Dream”, “Away Down the River” and “Simple Love” rank among the very best Krauss recordings ever, and they are the highlights of this set, though it will probably receive more attention for the collaborations with Taylor, Paisley, Rice and Waite.
It would’ve been nice to see the content significantly expanded from the original television special, and it’s baffling that there is so little information included about the musicians backing her. Still, it was classy of Great American Country to allow this material to be released, as it documents a talent for the ages in what may be the peak of her career.
Video Stream: Alison Krauss & Tony Rice, “Shadows”
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  1. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent review, natch. I was wondering whether I should pick this up, and now I have no doubt about it.

    …But this also reminds me that I need to post a certain FSBFA post I’ve had mostly ready for weeks. Methinks I’ll have to finally get that up tomorrow.

  2. CFNo Gravatar says:

    Thought I would mention that the song version of “Shadows” by Alison with Tony Rice is available for online download on iTunes now. Sounds good!

  3. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar says:

    Dan,
    I really want to read that FSBFA feature. Get crackin’! It will make us look are content look totally synchronized!

    CF,
    Loving the logo!

  4. CFNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks :). I quite like it myself :p.

  5. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Dan, my favorite Krauss song better be on that list of yours!!

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