10. Alison Krauss - "It’s Goodbye and So Long To You"
It might be somewhat of a fair assessment to say that in spite of her greatness, Krauss has become somewhat of a one-trick pony from a vocal standpoint. Save her 2007 Raising Sand collaboration with Robert Plant, there wasn’t a lot of up-tempo tracks from Krauss this millennium, with the singer focused on her gorgeous ballads. This cover of an Osborne Brothers classic showed that there was still plenty of fire in Krauss’s vocal approach, making for one of the highlight tracks from her recent disc, the excellent Windy City.
9. Alison Krauss - "Goodbye Is All We Have Left"
That previous entry aside, there is definitely nothing wrong with an Alison Krauss vocal performance. One of her most emotional performances on such a song came on this track from 2004‘s Lonely Runs Both Ways, which was a stunning feature for her angelic vocal approach.
8. Alison Krauss - "Endless Highway"
When you speak of great Alison Krauss song performances, you have to take this beautiful performance from her 1990 I’ve Got That Old Feeling album into consideration. The singer brought the right amount of yearning into the track, which was all about looking forward to the reunion she was about to have with her significant other. What makes the track even more remarkable is that she was vocalizing with the power of a veteran performer when she was still a teenager.
7. Alison Krauss - "Steel Rails"
Also from I’ve Got That Old Feeling, this gorgeous performance served notice on both the country and bluegrass worlds that Krauss was about to embark on a career that was going to be very special. Her beautiful take on Louisa Branscomb’s wistful lyrics of comparing her new journey as a single person to that of a locomotive gliding down the track and not looking back remains one of her more effective performances.
6. Alison Krauss - "Baby, Now That I’ve Found You"
With her career firmly entrenched into the fast lane, Krauss reached back into pop history for this 1995 Grammy-winning performance of a 1967 hit from The Foundations. The track was equal part seductive and innocence, with the singer striking a winning balance in this enduring Alison Krauss song performance.
5. Alison Krauss - "I’ve Got That Old Feeling"
Early on in her career, Krauss demonstrated an affinity for the music and songs of The Cox Family. Nowhere was that any more apparent than on this benchmark from her beginning years, penned by Sidney Cox. The song showed her vocal prowess, but also demonstrated her talent on the fiddle as well -- showing that even at age 18, her talent was going to take her far.
4. Alison Krauss - "Let Me Touch You For A While"
With her tenor being very angelic, Krauss played the seductive role quite well on this track from 2001‘s New Favorite, which was as sensual of a performance that Krauss had ever attempted -- one that she knocked out of the ballpark. Almost 20 years later, the song still scorches.
3. Alison Krauss - "Looking In The Eyes Of Love"
Another Grammy-winning Krauss song, this 1997 recording captured every ounce of emotion that songwriters Kostas and Tricia Walker put into writing the song. It didn’t hurt that she had a winning blueprint for her version, as Patty Loveless gave a dramatic original performance of the song in 1990.
2. Alison Krauss - "New Fool"
Another Krauss selection from the Cox Family well, this 1993 track from Every Time You Say Goodbye glistened with the dramatic flair of a Nashville classic from decades earlier. Even a quarter-century later, this performance is still as breathtaking and unforgettable as it was when she originally recorded it.
1. Alison Krauss - "When You Say Nothing At All"
It’s a rarity for a cover to top one of these lists, but Krauss’s version of this 1988 Keith Whitley chart-topper is one of those success stories that you just have to root for. The song started it’s Krauss journey as simply a track from a 1995 Whitley tribute album on BNA, but radio quickly picked up on the song -- starting to spin it without any promotion from the label. Once BNA got involved, the song became a career-defining performance, hitting the top five on the Country Singles charts, netting the singer a Single of the Year trophy -- among four overall wins -- at the CMA Awards in October of 1995. With such a version like Whitley’s to follow -- we’ll stop short of saying she made this Don Schlitz/Paul Overstreet copyright totally her own, but in the terms of Alison Krauss song performances, this one is very much a no-brainer!