In 1985, 100 years after the publication of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, witty tunesmith Roger Miller helped shine a bright spot on an otherwise dismal season for Broadway musicals with his original score for Big River, an adaptation of Twain’s classic novel. The long-running musical, which featured future Roseanne star John Goodman, won seven Tony awards, including one for Miller.
One of Big River‘s most enduring numbers, the poignant “River in the Rain” is among the standouts on Windy City, the new solo LP from Alison Krauss. The mysterious pull of the mighty Mississippi has the longtime Grand Ole Opry star singing poignantly of a “time of trouble… when your muddy bubbles roll across my floor, carrying away the things I treasure.” But rather than merely lamenting the loss, she wonders “why I love you more than I did the day before.”
Born in 1971, Krauss was still in her early teens when she joined the bluegrass band Union Station. She has since earned a staggering 27 Grammys, making her the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. A longtime fan of standards, including many of the tunes performed at the bluegrass festivals of her youth, Windy City is a sweetly nostalgic collection of tunes mostly predating her – with “River in the Rain” one of the few exceptions.
“On this album, I wanted to sing songs that are older than I am,” Krauss tells Rolling Stone Country. “There’s a real romance in singing other people’s stories.”
Also featured on the collection is Krauss’s cover of “Losing You,” a 1962 crossover hit for Brenda Lee. Watch Krauss performing the song live in the studio with her band mates and album producer Buddy Cannon in the video below.
In addition to her LPs with Union Station, the singer has released three solo albums. Windy City, her fourth, will be available February 17th in North America and elsewhere March 3rd. It is now available for pre-order.