This post is from Matt Martz, Wolf Trap's Communication & Marketing Assistant. And thanks to Teddy Wolff for the photographs!
While I'm the first to admit I have a more eclectic range of musical tastes than most (my "recently played" list on iTunes includes Jay-Z, Frank Sinatra, Miranda Lambert, and Florence + The Machine), I'm a firm believer that no matter what genre(s) of music you love or dislike, if the music is good enough, it rises above that, and I think many can agree that Alison Krauss & Union Station proved they belong in that category on Sunday night. Her 26 GRAMMY Awards don't exactly hurt that argument either.
The evening began with California rockers Dawes, playing the Filene Center for the second time this summer. (In June, they were guests with M. Ward for the Bright Eyes concert.) They performed a few tracks off their most recent album, Nothing is Wrong, as well as their biggest hit, “When My Time Comes,” before surrendering the stage to the woman of the evening—Alison Krauss.
Krauss & Union Station are currently on tour in support of their new album, Paper Airplane, which came out this past April to rave reviews. Throughout the set, the group seemed less like a band and more like a group of friends, all of whom happen to be incredible musicians at the top of their game.
The group kept the majority of their set list geared towards tracks from the new album, which mainly features Krauss on lead vocals. During “Dust Bowl Children,” guitarist/singer Dan Tyminski who sings lead vocals on the track, broke a string during his guitar solo, yet managed to switch over to his other guitar without a single flaw or pause. In addition to songs from the new album, Krauss played several other popular tracks, such as “When You Say Nothing At All,” “Baby Now That I’ve Found You,” and a few covers, such as Jimmie Rodgers’s “Any Old Time” and the single “Man of Constant Sorrow” from the 2000 film Oh Brother, Where Art Though?.Tyminski provided Clooney’s singing voice for both the movie and the soundtrack.
The evening also featured Jerry Douglas, a renowned singer/musician known for his unparalleled dobro skills (a resonator guitar that, as Krauss aptly put it, is nice because it’s the shiniest instrument in bluegrass—not to mention its unique, banjo-esque sound).
Throughout the show, Krauss sang and played her fiddle (which is where her music career began). While many albums feature different cuts of recorded parts of a song, it was refreshing—and impressive—to see Krauss hit all the right notes while also playing the fiddling parts of each track rather than leaving the musicianship to an alternate player.
In the end, Dawes, Krauss, and Union Station were a nice blend of folk, bluegrass, and rock that did not disappoint the very sold-out house. Krauss mentioned during the set that Wolf Trap was one of her favorite places to play, and it was clear the crowd was on the same page. It was a night of great (albeit a little muggy) weather, great music… making for an overall great experience.