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Alison Krauss - generous portions of bluegrass and humor at Marymoor Park
Alison Krauss - generous portions of bluegrass and humor at Marymoor Park
by Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A&E Writer

Alison Krauss and Union
Station with Jerry Douglas
Saturday, July 7
@ Marymoor Park


Seafair may be the official start of summer for many Seattleites, but this Seafair weekend was also the official start of the concert season. I told ya' that the music scene on July 7th was gonna be just like the weather - hot, hot, hot! Every venue in town was sold out: the Moody Blues at the Chateau, Kenny Chesney at Qwest Field, and - my personal pick - Alison Krauss and Union Station at Marymoor Park.

The Redmond show wasn't set to start until 8:00 p.m., but by 6:00 the line for getting your cooler searched had gone around the green fence, down along the parking lot and back beside the road. General Admission was gone, and "reserved" seating sold out at the Will Call tent - at $70 a seat! - within the first fifteen minutes of the gates opening. There was barely room to pull up a picnic basket, much less a bag of burgers from Dick's.

Alison Krauss, a Grammy-winning champeen fiddle-player and bluegrass crossover artist, took to the stage without any fanfare, and while folks were still scrambling to get their beers to their expensive reserved seats, she opened with the bluesy but twangy "Every Time You Say Goodbye."

After guitarist-singer Dan Tyminski took the lead on "This Sad Song," Krauss thanked the audience for just showing up when we "could be at home watching Matlock." Pause for laughter. "Or Murder She Wrote." Another pause, more giggles. "Or Jake and the Fatman." O. M. G. I can't believe it: a reference to Joe Penny!

Despite, or perhaps because of, her humble demeanor it was clear the crowd wanted to be at Marymoor instead of parked in front of the tube tuned in to reruns on the Hallmark channel.

Krauss was casual in a white shirt hemmed with lace and belled cuffs, jeans and tousled ash-blond hair. She recalled her visit to Marymoor two years ago with obvious fondness for the Pacific Northwest, and marveled at the beauty of the location. She joshed her bandmates between the hit songs; especially Tyminski, whose fame as George Clooney's singing voice (in the Coen brothers' film O, Brother, Where Art Thou) has brought him in line for some hard ribbing.

Tyminski talked about the experience, and about explaining to his wife what a "voiceover" is. "That's where you're looking at George Clooney and my voice comes out. 'Damn!' She said. 'That's my fantasy!'" Of course, the audience wouldn't let him get away without giving us "Man of Constant Sorrow," which he did 15 songs in.

Other numbers included "Ghost in This House," "Oh, Atlanta," and two Sarah Siskind songs, "Goodbye Is All We Have" and "Simple Love." Featured guest dobro artist Jerry Douglas proved in a solo instrumental that he really is Jimi Hendrix of the instrument. Krauss concluded the evening with an encore of "When You Say Nothing At All" and the hymn "A Living Prayer," ending the two hours of performance with her sweet, clear vocals.

We'll be thinking about the bluegrass we heard in the green grass of Marymoor for summers to come.

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