Shared from the 2017-03-05 Chattanooga eEdition


In the car, Alison Krauss lets passengers choose music



Alison Krauss visits New York to promote her album, “Windy City.”

NEW YORK — Alison Krauss has a surprising rule about road trips: The driver does not command the stereo.

“Whenever I have young people in the car, they’re always in control of the music,” said Krauss, who has more Grammy Awards than any other woman. “It’s like sharing yourself.”

That rule she learned from her very patient father, who once let her listen to the LP “Cold on the Shoulder” by Tony Rice for 13 hours straight during a road trip when she was a dreamy pre-teen staring out the window.

“He never said a word about it. He never complained,” she said. “He knew something was going on. There was no judgment. There was no judgment passed on that I shouldn’t have been loving something that much.”

Krauss has passed that open-minded lesson to the next generation. Her son, Sam, has inherited her good ear and has, over the years, introduced her to such bands as Snow Patrol and Phoenix.

“As soon as he showed up, he was in charge of the music in the car,” she said, laughing. “When we deny what young people are listening to, we’re really denying a big part of them. There’s something about it that’s speaking to them.”

Krauss re-emerges this month with “Windy City,” her first solo album since 1999, a collection of 10 classic country covers shaped — not surprisingly — by road trips with her son at night through Nashville.

After she and songwriter Buddy Cannon whittled down the final list to songs by such artists as Willie Nelson, Bill Monroe, Brenda Lee and the Osborne Brothers, Krauss and 17-year-old Sam drove around listening to the originals.

“He goes, ‘Oh, boy. Mom, I don’t think you better touch those Brenda Lee songs.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you think?’ He goes, ‘Whoa. Those are so good,’” said Krauss, 45, laughing. “I’m like, ‘Thank you, honey.’”

Krauss thankfully overruled him, recording both Lee’s “Losing You” and “All Alone Am I” for the new album, which critics have warmly embraced. Entertainment Weekly said the CD “enforces her legacy as one of American music’s standout talents,” while The Associated Press’ only quibble was the album was too short.

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