Alison Krauss life and biography

Alison Krauss picture, image, poster

Alison Krauss biography

Date of birth : 1971-07-23
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-04-12
Credited as : Bluegrass-Country music singer, Paper Airplane 2011, AKUS

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Alison Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss & Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

Born July 23, 1971, Alison Krauss grew up in Champaign, Ill., where her parents encouraged her and her brother, Viktor, to play instruments at an early age. Soon after taking up the violin, Krauss discovered fiddle contests and bluegrass festivals. She earned her initial acclaim as an instrumentalist, but soon it was her voice that captivated everyone's attention.

Rounder Records signed Krauss as an artist when she was 14. As her career has progressed, she has developed her skills as a producer, arranger and finder of great songs. In addition to producing her own recordings with Union Station, Krauss has produced three albums for the Cox Family and two for Nickel Creek. She also produced Reba McEntire's 2001 single, "Sweet Music Man."

After launching her recording career with the 1987 album, Too Late to Cry, Krauss introduced her band, Union Station, on the 1989 release Two Highways. She joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1993 at the age of 21.

The band made bluegrass sales history with the 1995 release of Now That I've Found You: A Collection which achieved double platinum status. That same year, Krauss won an astounding four CMA Awards, including female vocalist, horizon award, single ("When You Say Nothing at All") and vocal event ("Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart," with Shenandoah).

Her next three projects, including 1999's pop-flavored solo album Forget About It, were each certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies. The band's 2002 concert album, Live, was certified double platinum.

Krauss remains in demand for studio work. She has sung and played on recordings by such artists as Bad Company, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, John Michael Montgomery, Michael McDonald, Michael Johnson, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Rhonda Vincent, Dar Williams, Brad Paisley, the Chieftains, Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Rogers, Ralph Stanley, Shenandoah and Phish.

In addition to collaborating with high profile artists for special projects, Krauss has been in high demand for film soundtracks. Most notable is her involvement in the soundtrack for the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- a project that also gained additional attention for Union Station member Dan Tyminski. They also appeared in the companion concert film, Down From the Mountain. Krauss has also contributed music to other film and TV shows, including soundtracks for Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Where the Red Fern Grows, Mona Lisa Smile, Crossing Jordan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Krauss collaborated with rock musician Sting for "You Will Be My Ain True Love," one of two tracks she recorded for the 2003 film, Cold Mountain. The song garnered an Oscar nomination. She also teamed with James Taylor to record "How's the World Treating You" for the 2003 tribute album, Livin', Lovin', Losin': Songs of the Louvin Brothers. The pairing won a Grammy and Live won two.

In 2004, Alison Krauss & Union Station delivered the exquisite album, Lonely Runs Both Ways. The project brought in three more Grammys, bringing her total to 20 -- the most of any woman in history. She also picked up two more CMA Awards in 2004 for "Whiskey Lullaby," her duet with Brad Paisley. In addition, Jackson enlisted her to produce his 2006 album, Like Red on a Rose.

Tyminski, who plays guitar and sings in Union Station, remains one of the most dynamic and talented performers on the bluegrass scene. Although he had already earned a strong following, Tyminski found himself in the media spotlight after providing the singing voice for George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou? His performance of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" won single of the year honors at the 2001 CMA Awards and a 2001 Grammy for country collaboration of the year. Including his tally with Union Station, he has won 10 Grammys.

Before becoming a member of Union Station in 1994, Tyminski played mandolin and sang in the Lonesome River Band. Tyminski's love and feel for traditional bluegrass didn't come from growing up in the southern Appalachians but rather in Vermont. He credits his brother Stan with getting him hooked on the guitar and mandolin at the age of 6. While Stan was in the Navy and home on leave, he left his mandolin with his younger brother. Tyminski attributes his love for traditional bluegrass to such musicians and singers as Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Larry Sparks and Jimmy Martin. In 2003, Rounder reissued Tyminski's solo album, Carry Me Across the Mountain, first released in 2000 by Doobie Shea Records.

Barry Bales, bass player and harmony vocalist for Union Station, grew up in Kingsport, Tenn. His first memories of music are listening to the records of Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Bob Wills, Buck Owens and Hank Thompson from his father's extensive collection. Inspired by his father's guitar playing and singing, Bales started experimenting with different instruments at the age of 10. At 16, he found the bass. Bales attended East Tennessee State University for three-and-a-half years. During that time, he played in the band Dusty Miller, which also included former Union Station members Adam Steffey and Tim Stafford. It was during that time the three met Krauss, who soon after asked them to join Union Station.

Ron Block has been playing the banjo and guitar, as well as writing songs and singing, with Union Station since October 1991. Before joining Union Station, he was a member of the Lynn Morris Band and Weary Hearts. Block grew up surrounded by music in his father's music store in Lawndale, Calif. A musician himself, Block's father played bass in a rhythm and blues band. Block says his earliest memories are of the smell of old guitars and of listening to guys sitting around the store playing. When he was 11, he received his first guitar. At 13 he became fascinated with the banjo after seeing Flatt & Scruggs on television. The following year, his dad gave him a banjo for Christmas.

As he listened to the Stanley Brothers and Larry Sparks, Block became more interested in playing guitar and singing. Other musical influences include Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, Larry Carlton, James Taylor and Benny Goodman. Alison Krauss & Union Station have recorded several of Block's songs, including "There Is a Reason" and "Pain of a Troubled Life," both of which appear on their So Long, So Wrong album. Rounder released Block's solo album, Faraway Land, in 2001.

Jerry Douglas started his musical career early. As a 5-year-old, he began playing the mandolin. He then moved to guitar and at 11 segued into Dobro after seeing Flatt & Scruggs Dobro master Uncle Josh Graves perform. At 18, Douglas hit the bluegrass festival circuit full time as a member of the Country Gentlemen. Before long, he joined Ricky Skaggs in J.D. Crowe's band, New South. In September 1975, the two young pickers broke away and formed their own group, Boone Creek. After three years, Skaggs embarked on his successful solo career, and Douglas started making his distinctive mark on all things Dobro.

In 1983, Douglas joined the Whites and played with them for two years. During this time, he became one of the first artists signed to the MCA Master Series label, for which he recorded three solo albums. Douglas began recording for Sugar Hill in 1992 but moved to Koch Records in the mid-2000s. He has won 12 Grammy awards.

Watch here the Official Music Video of Alison Krauss & Union Station "Paper Airplane" :

Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas are set to criss-cross the country this summer on a nationwide tour eventually taking them to over 50 cities.


1985: Different Strokes
1987: Too Late to Cry
1989: Two Highways
1990: I've Got That Old Feeling
1992: Every Time You Say Goodbye
1994: I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
1997: So Long So Wrong
1999: Forget About It
2001: New Favorite
2004: Lonely Runs Both Ways
2007: Raising Sand
2011: Paper Airplane

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