Sad songs bring joy to bluegrass star Alison Krauss

Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:59pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's tempting to look at Alison Krauss' new album and speculate how many Grammy awards the bluegrass star will add to her vast collection next year.

Six, like the number she won with her hit 2008 collaboration with Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant? Or maybe just four, like her previous album with her long-time band Union Station?

Krauss, who turns 40 next month, is already the most honored singer in Grammy history, with 26 awards. She needs just six more to surpass classical conductor Georg Solti at the top. The only living artist with more awards is Quincy Jones, who started building his collection of 27 statuettes in 1964.

But don't try to engage Krauss in a guessing game about the prospects for "Paper Airplane" at next February's ceremony. Holding forth in a hotel room in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley recently, the Midwestern diplomat just laughed when some numbers were tossed at her.

Another tack is called for. If a reporter was a guest in her Nashville home, and pocketed one of her Grammys would she ever notice? Another dead end.

"We don't have 'em out," she replied. "We put them where they're not on display. I like home to be about home."

Like most artists, Krauss is driven more by creative energy than a crushing need to hoard more hardware. Every song she tackles goes through a rigorous quality-control process.

"I love reading lyrics and I love reading a line and I'll emphasize different syllables to see how the meaning changes with that line," she said.   Continued...

<p>Alison Krauss performs at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>