There are few voices as pure, penetrating, and exquisite as Alison Krauss’ soprano. From the first breath on any song, it is angelic. Put it over an excellent song with superb lyrics, add the musicianship of Krauss and Union Station, and you get “Gravity.”
It’s a stunner.
Krauss was a prodigy, entering local contests as a singer and fiddle player at the age of 8 and recording for the first time at the age of 14. At the age of 16, she was invited to join the band Union Station to form Alison Krauss and Union Station. She plays with them still, in addition to releasing solo albums and collaborating on various projects and a number of soundtracks, including famously O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Her collaborations have included Def Leppard, Robert Plant, Shenandoah, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. She has won a remarkable 27 Grammy awards — as a solo artist, as a producer, as a group with Union Station, and for her duets with Robert Plant — ranking her 4th on the list of all-time Grammy award winners. She was the second-youngest Grammy winner in history when she won her first award in 1991.
Written by Robert Lee Castleman, “Gravity” appears on the 2004 album Lonely Runs Both Ways. It is a gorgeous song written in a voice replete with wisdom and restlessness, odd elisions, and a kicker that always gets me:
I left home when I was seventeen
I just grew tired of falling down
And I’m sure I was told
The allure of the road
Would be all I found
And all the answers that I started with
Turned out questions in the end
So years roll on by
And just like the sky
The road never ends
And the people who love me still ask me
When are you coming back to town
And I answer quite frankly
When they stop building roads
And all God needs is gravity to hold me down