Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss

A whole album to one writer – now that would be really interesting.

Growing up I used to love bands like Free and ELO and the Rolling Stones. When Robert Plant got in touch it made perfect sense to me.

If you don’t know what makes green, you’re going to try every color combination.

Songs come from all over the place. You can’t predict what you’re going to like. You might like something that doesn’t fit right now. What was working for you at one point, something you’ve loved for years and years, when you get together with everybody, you think, this doesn’t match up with what’s going on with you personally.

Lyrics are kind of the whole thing; it’s the message. Something might have a beautiful melody but if it’s not the truth coming out of your mouth, it’s not appealing.

You know, if you really want to fiddle the old-time way, you’ve got to learn the dance. The contra-dances, hoedowns. It’s all in the rhythm of the bow. The great North Carolina fiddle player Tommy Jarrell said, ‘If a feller can’t bow, he’ll never make a fiddler. He might make a violin player, but he’ll never make no fiddler.’

I don’t go there much. You’re thrilled that people would recognize what you’re doing in such a grand kind of way. But, just like you don’t know if anybody’s really going to like what you’re doing when you put a record out or if anybody’s going to pay attention to it, you can’t really go there.

That’s what I love. Not being interrupted, sitting in a car by myself and listening to music in the rain. There are so many great songs yet to sing.

When it’s open and honest, that’s when the real nature of who you are as a vocalist or as a performer, all of that stuff can finally start to become what it’s supposed to be. Like a settling into yourself. It’s not even a musical thing, it’s a whole mindset, a whole acceptance of who you were supposed to be. Life sounds good.

I don’t get recognized in London or at home either – very seldom anyway. Either that or I look so crazy no one wants to come up to me.

It’s not that I have resisted songwriting, it’s just not something I felt I have had to do. I’ve just not woken up and thought, I must do this. But I have often heard music that I have instantly felt ‘I have to sing that song’.

The grand old lady of bluegrass? Well, wouldn’t that be a wonderful title to have? I hope I do enough to earn it some day.

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