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Alison Krauss – Toy Heart: A Podcast About Bluegrass

Apr 23, 2024

Alison Krauss – Toy Heart: A Podcast About Bluegrass

We could hardly think of a better guest with whom we’d conclude our second season of Toy Heart than 27-time Grammy Award winner, Alison Krauss. Arguably the most prominent bluegrass musician in the genre’s nearly one hundred year history – certainly the most well-known in her own generation – host Tom Power’s laughter-filled conversation with Krauss weaves through her childhood and upbringing, from her grandparents immigrating to Chicago (then her parents to Champaign, Illinois) and Alison’s first fiddle contests all the way to her first Grammy win as a young adult.


In a rare podcast interview, Krauss is funny, charming, and open, her candor painting a picture of the bluegrass community’s lifelong support and the winding journey that has brought her to the present, as one of the most recognizable voices and musicians in American roots music. From her earliest hits like “Steel Rails” and “Every Time You Say Goodbye” to collaborating with Robert Plant, James Taylor, the Cox Family, and more, to her Buddy Cannon-produced 2017 album, Windy City, Power and Krauss talk about song selection, her early days touring and road-dogging with Union Station, and how it felt when her musical career really began to take off.

But these stories aren’t just about awards and accolades. They chat about many moments, the big and small, that define Krauss, the festivals that became like homes, and the bonds that music forged with her band, Union Station, and her many collaborators. They explore how Krauss creates on the boundaries of many roots genres – plus what she views as bluegrass and what’s not bluegrass – the authenticity that she’s tried to capture throughout her career, and the cultural waves made by projects like O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the Down From the Mountain tour.

From personal anecdotes about Ralph Stanley and Larry Sparks to her feelings about Billy Strings’ massive success to a jaw-dropping and exciting revelation that she and Union Station are working on a new bluegrass album, our season finale with Alison Krauss is truly one of our best Toy Heart episodes to date.

Photo Credit: Randee St Nicholas

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Alison Krauss – Toy Heart: A Podcast About Bluegrass
Alison Krauss – Toy Heart: A Podcast About Bluegrass