With her latest album, Forget About It (Rounder, 1999), Alison Krauss, a favorite of awards presenters in the bluegrass and country fields, has taken on acoustic pop, covering songs by Michael MacDonald and Hugh Prestwood.
And for her next adult contemporary radio-bound single, she's going even farther afield, to Todd Rundgren's "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" (RealAudio excerpt).
But she comes by the interest honestly: "My bluegrass influences were J.D. Crowe, Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice," she said in a recent interview form her
Nashville home. "But I've always loved '70s rock.
"That's really what I grew up with in Illinois there was a friend who lived across the park who had top 40 radio on, and I'd listen to that all the time."
No word yet on what songs Krauss and her group Union Station will perform when they visit "The Late Show With David Letterman" on Wednesday on CBS-TV, but the show they put together at a taping of "Austin City Limits" earlier this spring (the episode will begin airing the weekend of May 26) covered all the bases of Krauss's career, from the mournful "Steel Rails" to the driving bluegrass of "Kern County Breakdown" to her country hit "Stay" (RealAudio excerpt), which was featured in the soundtrack of the movie "Happy Texas".
Not all these may make it to air, though. "We may put out a how-to-tune video as well as a concert show," the singer and fiddle player, who admits to being a perfectionist when it comes to her music, joked as the band worked to get everything just right for the television recording.
Alison Krauss & Union Station tour dates:
May 2; Morristown, N.J.; Community Theater
New York, N.Y.; Ed Sullivan Theatre (Letterman show)
May 4; Burlington, Vt.; Flynn Theatre
May 5; Troy, N.Y.; Savings Bank Music Hall
May 6; Boston, Mass.; Orpheum Theatre
May 7; Northampton, Mass.; Calvin Theater
May 10; Harrisburg, Pa.; Whittaker Center For The Arts
May 11; Greensburg, Pa.; Palace Theatre
May 18; Athens, Ga.; TBA
May 19; Charleston, S.C.; TBA
May 26; Boston, Mass.; Symphony Hall
May 27; Ocean City, N.J.; Ocean City Music Pier
July 27; Lockbourne, Ohio; Hoover Y Park
Aug. 16; Vienna, Va.; Wolf Trap Filene Center
Aug. 19; Rochester, Mich.; Meadow Brook