A Hundred Miles or More

I’ve been listening to a lot of Alison Krauss this week, especially her 2007 album A Hundred Miles or More.

It’s hard not to love an album that features duets with both Natalie MacMaster (Get Me Through December) and John Waite (Missing You).

Krauss and Waite’s Missing You is a straight cover of Waite’s 1984 original rather than the banjo-infused reinterpretation you might expect, and I’d argue it takes what started as a solid mid-1980s pop ballad and makes it better simply for Krauss’ presence.

(Also worthy of noting: it was lost on me, in the original listening on AM radio, that Waite actually is missing you, despite vehemently insisting he’s not; I guess I’ve learned that things are not always as they seem).

The MacMaster duet, Get Me Through December, is a different thing entirely, inasmuch as Krauss also provided the vocals on MacMaster‘s 1999 release on her own album, but it’s a lovely song nonetheless, and the 2007 version sounds both brighter and warmer, although I might simply be projecting.

It’s also interesting to listen to in the shadow of Phoebe Bridgers’ 2020 cover of If We Make It Through December, originally released in 1974 by Merle Haggard. But for the fact that Haggard died in 2016, wouldn’t a duet with Bridgers have been interesting.

Of course one can’t write about Alison Krauss collabs without mentioning Robert Plant, whose latest release together High and Lonesome arrived just two weeks ago and is an entirely new kind of delight.


Sandy 's picture
Sandy on October 28, 2021 - 09:48 Permalink

Thank you for this. I listened to A Hundred Miles or More on my walk to work this morning and will continue to listen to it on my walk home. Beautiful.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on October 28, 2021 - 23:42 Permalink

Agreed thanks for the reminder. I've been an Alison Krauss fan since hearing her with Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. The initial release from the new duet album with Robert Plant is a great cover of Lucinda William's "Can't Let Go." Interestingly the writer Kate Atkinson has a recurring detective character, Jackson Brodie, who loves listening to these women as he drives around England solving crimes.