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Alison Krauss & Union Station unveil video for Paper Airplane

March 29, 2011 by  

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Alison Krauss & Union Station unveil video for Paper Airplane

On April 11th, Alison Krauss & Union Station will release their first album, ‘Paper Airplane’, of all-new recordings since 2004’s Lonely Runs Both Ways.

Throughout her remarkable career, which spans a quarter century, though she’s only 39, Krauss has remained grounded and real. Deeply introspective as an artist, she’s commensurately outgoing and spontaneous in conversation—both sides of her character evidencing a life-embracing humanity. In her work, Krauss has managed to consistently locate the fertile common ground between traditional modes and topical themes. On Paper Airplane, she and the band somehow managed to plumb the depths of Krauss’ own psyche while also capturing the zeitgeist, so that this portrait of the artist doubles as a portrait of America as a whole at a crucial moment in its history.

The process that led to Paper Airplane had its own particular set of circumstances, at one point bringing the sessions to a dead stop when, for just the second time in her life, Krauss was hammered by a bout of migraine headaches. “There have been records that were tough to make, but this one took the cake,” she says with a rueful laugh. “At one point, Dan said, ‘I don’t really know what to do unless you’re jumping up and down because you love something or you hate it.’ I make judgments based on how something makes me feel, and because I wasn’t physically well, everything was kind of gray and nothing sounded right. So after we recorded a bunch of things, we took a long break, because it just wasn’t working.”

For the crucial missing piece, Krauss turned to her longtime go-to guy, songwriter Robert Lee Castleman. When she called him, Castleman lamented that he was in a dry spell and feeling uninspired, but he asked her to come over and sit with him and tell him about what was going on in her life. When Krauss walked in the door, he told her he had a melody. “What are you going to do now?” she asked him. “Wait,” he answered. “It’ll probably be here by midnight.” Krauss stayed just long enough to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tell him what was going through her mind. A few hours later, Castleman called. “I got it,” he said. “What’s it called?” she asked. “‘Paper Airplane,’” he answered.

“All I did was encourage him and share what was going on within myself,” Krauss recalls of that memorable afternoon. “But I can’t take credit for his gift. I had no hand in writing it—that was all Robert.”

Castleman hit the bull’s-eye, evidenced by the fact that “Paper Airplane” serves as the new album’s title song as well as its opening track. What did this newly minted song express that was so right in terms of what she wanted to say?

“It represents a trial—like a trying time that has an end,” she explains. “And that’s what everything was to me on this record, including the Dustbowl tune [the Tyminski-sung “Dustbowl Children,” written by Peter Rowan]. It’s all about a span of time that’s a trial. We didn’t pick that as a theme; we found out what the theme was afterward. I was just following what was appealing, but wasn’t conscious of what it was that was speaking to me. I don’t have any preconceived notions; I don’t know till it hits me. ”

Paper Airplane is out on April 11 2011.
www.alisonkrauss.com






 

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