Entertainment Weekly (p.117) - "[A] beautiful meditation on heartbreak." - Grade: B+
Uncut (p.128) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Fifteen immaculately crafted songs played with a subtle, note-perfect touch....With LONELY RUNS BOTH WAYS she has helmed one of the finest Americana albums of 2004."
Down Beat (p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Krauss' keenly ethereal voice is at the center of the disc....Gorgeous stuff..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Here the hymns are innocent and pretty, the lost-love ballads pensively downbeat rather than murderously wretched. Even the Gillian Welch cover sounds sweetly country."
Alison Krauss & Union Station: Alison Krauss; Ron Block (vocals); Barry Bales (bass instrument, background vocals); Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas .
Personnel: Alison Krauss (vocals, fiddle, viola); Dan Tyminski (vocals, baritone, guitar, mandolin); Barry Bales (tenor, bass voice); Ron Block (guitar, slide guitar, banjo); Jerry Douglas (lap steel guitar, dobro).
Audio Mixer: Gary Paczosa.
Recording information: 17 Grand Recording, Nashville, TN; Blackbrid Studio; Minutia Recording Studio.
Photographer: Norman Jean Roy.
In a world where popular country music has lost much of its roots, Alison Krauss stands out among the pack because she remains true to the bluegrass traditions of Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, and others. However, more than just a revivalist, Krauss also has an unerring ear for elegant pop music.
LONELY RUNS BOTH WAYS features, essentially, two types of music--burning-hot bluegrass compositions and delicate, heartrending country ballads. On the latter, Krauss's gossamer voice sears with deep emotion and lyrical clarity. For example, the last song on the album, "A Living Prayer," is a gospel lullaby featuring Krauss belting out long, legato notes over austere acoustic guitar accompaniment. In contrast, the instrumental piece "Unionhouse Branch" explores traditional Americana. Each Union Station member is featured on this track, and the level of technical skill displayed by these musicians (particularly by dobro player Jerry Douglas) is truly astounding. In many ways, this band represents a pinnacle in modern bluegrass. As for Krauss, her fiddle playing is understated on this release, but her beautifully penetrating voice more than makes up for it.