Alison Krauss showed a bit of a comedic touch in a concert Friday night at Robinson Center Music Hall.
Right after she and Union Station finished “Wild Bill Jones,” she joked that “everything bad that can happen to someone happens in that song.” And throughout the evening she went back to a running gag about buying in bulk. Or ordering items from late-night television infomercials.
We learned she’s come up with a Dirt Devil and other band members are fond of such things as glucosamine and frozen berries. We’re not real sure what the volume-shopping talk was all about, but we’ll take songs from Krauss and Union Station by the dozen any day.
The country-bluegrass superstar – hey, at last count, she has an incredible 27 Grammy Awards – melds her feathery light voice and fiddle skills with the expert instrumentation of her longtime band to produce crowd-pleasing shows such as the one in Little Rock she used to kick off her 2012 tour.
Opening with the title cut off their latest album, “Paper Airplane,” and continuing through “Dust Bowl Children,” “Daylight,” “Dimming of the Day” and a fun “Oh, Atlanta,” Krauss and Union Station member Dan Tyminski shared lead vocal duties and displayed the group’s versatility. Around every bend of a Krauss concert, there’s something special. Tyminski shined on the well-known “Man of Constant Sorrow,” which was featured in the 2000 comedy “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” starring George Clooney. It was, of course, well received by the crowd of 2,000-plus as was “Rain Please Go Away,” which had the crowd clapping along from the start.
Krauss’ voice has been described as angelic and such praise sets the bar pretty high. Not to worry, from the sweet “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” to the melancholy “Ghost in This House,” she lives up to the billing. Perhaps Krauss’ best-loved country hit, her outstanding take on the old Keith Whitley song “When You Say Nothing at All,” was first up in a five-song encore that also featured “Whiskey Lullaby” and a nice version of “Down to the River to Pray.”
Besides Krauss on fiddle and Tyminski on guitar, the impeccable talents of Ron Block on banjo and guitar, Barry Bales on bass and Jerry Douglas on dobro helped the group shine, whether the song was a heartfelt ballad or a toe-tapping bluegrass favorite. Here’s hoping in between various bulk-shopping trips they’ll find their way back to Central Arkansas soon.