AKUS – just simply the best

AKUS – Alison Krauss and Union Station. Just one of the best bluegrass bands around today. And of course, Alison Krauss has won more Grammys than any other singer.

I first heard her singing only three or four years ago – one of her tracks had been selected by a guest on a radio program I was listening to in the car. And I was smitten. She has one of the most remarkable voices in the recording industry today – and she’s also a very accomplished fiddle player.

The group that she plays with, Union Station, are all talented musicians, especially Jerry Douglas – the greatest dobro player. Dan Timinski (guitar) sang I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow in the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? starring George Clooney.

I was watching last night’s Transatlantic Sessions on the BBC iPlayer this morning, and watched Alison Krauss singing Dimming of the Day, a song I’d never heard before. After a little research I discovered that it was written as a love song by English singer-songwriter Richard Thompson for his wife Linda (from whom he is now divorced), released in 1975 on the album Pour Down Like Silver. Thompson had also supported Gerry Rafferty as a session musician on Night Owl.  There have been many covers of Dimming of the Day, including David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Bonnie Raitt.

Here are the lyrics:

This old house is falling down around my ears
I’m drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day

You pulled me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side

What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonny birds have wheeled away
I need you at the dimming of the day

Come the night you’re only what I want
Come the night you could be my confidant

I see you on the street and in company
Why don’t you come and ease your mind with me
I’m living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day

I need you at the dimming of the day

 This is the original version by Linda and Richard Thompson:

Now listen to the magic of Alison Krauss and Union Station on their most recent CD, Paper Airplane:

Alison Krauss talks about this song in an interview published in the Telegraph in April 2011. It’s a very emotional song. And I’d missed it all these years.

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