Before O Brother Where Art Thou? created a roots music sensation, Alison Krauss brought her popular style of bluegrass to a wider audience. "Baby, Now That I've Found You," first released on a 1995 compilation (Now That I've Found You: A Collection), combines elements of traditional and contemporary bluegrass to create a striking hybrid. Krauss wraps her poignant vocal around John MacLeod and Tony Macaulay's gorgeous melody as she relates the heartbreaking tale of love gone wrong. Acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, and (surprisingly) congas provide a rhythmic backdrop, while guitarist Ron Block and fiddler Krauss offer tasteful lead work. As the song proceeds, Krauss is joined by Block and Dan Tyminski on harmony, filling out the choruses while also increasing the emotional intensity of the lyrics. Interestingly, the sum total of these arrangements achieves a sound that imitates pop but uses acoustic instruments. Krauss brings many of these same elements to bear on "Teardrops Will Kiss the Morning Dew." Once again, her distinct vocal style, filled with trills and soft sighs, seems ideal for a song about love lost. The new element here is Jerry Douglas' Dobro, which offers an affecting counterpart, adeptly underlining the vocal. For anyone curious about Krauss and just how good she is, "Baby, Now That I Found You" is a reasonable and exquisite introduction.
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