This week past was bookended with some amazing music. It started out on Labor Day with the 40th Anniversary Tribute to Soul Train. What a day. I met up with Don Cornelius at about 1PM when he was in between 5 television interviews! Did a quick photo of him, and headed out to soundcheck. I watched from the side of the stage, occasionally running out to take pictures when something amazing was happening. The Chi-Lites, The Emotions, The Impressions and Jerry Butler, all backed by a large orchestra arranged and conducted by Tom Tom Washington, of Earth Wind and Fire fame.
The end of the week brought more fabulous music to Chicago. Friday the reunited Alison Krauss and Union Station arrived in town to play a sold out show at the Chicago Theater. First off- the voice!!! Alison has one of the most beautiful voices in music. Along with Emmylou Harris, they are the premier singers in country music.
Then there is the unbelievable musicianship on stage. Five people, almost no amplification, just a bunch of microphones and acoustic instruments, played by some of the best musicians walking the planet:
Jerry Douglas- the best dobro player on the planet in any genre.
Dan Tyminski- Guitar player extrordinaire and an amazing singer (He was the singing voice of George Clooney in Oh Brother, Where a Art Thou)
Ron Block- Plays pretty much everything, mostly banjo and guitar
Barry Bales- plays an upright bass and holds is a one man rhythm section
Alison- adding some great fiddle runs in between her singing
They also added an occasional piano player and a drummer for a few songs.
3000 people sat there for two hours listening to some great music. Except for massive applause, you could hear a pin drop in the audience, especially for the encores, when the band gathered together center stage around one microphone and sang 5 breathtaking songs with just voice, bass and a few guitars. The only problem for me was that during parts of the show, I forgot to shoot. But only for a while!