Windy City is Alison Krauss’s first solo album in 17 years, but that tagline is a little misleading. Krauss has kept busy, recording recent albums with her band Union Station, one with Robert Plant (which won the Album of the Year Grammy no less), and dueting with Willie Nelson and John Prine on their recent albums. But in the midst of all that, she found time to record a new album of country covers and standards. It’s out Friday, but she’s released three tracks already, covers of Roger Miller, Brenda Lee, and the Osborne Brothers
Krauss digs deep for the songs she covers. “River in the Rain” hails from from Miller’s 1980s Broadway musical about Huckleberry Finn (the performance at the 1985 Tony Awards is worth watching). “Losing You” is one of two songs she covers by Lee (along with “All Alone Am I”), with whom she’s dueted in the past. The title track, most famous from bluegrass pioneers the Osborne Brothers, is perhaps the most obvious pick for Krauss, but she de-twangifies it significantly into a tender country-pop ballad.