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Song of the Day: Ron Block

Ron Block has written several of Alison Krauss’s most popular songs. In 2003 the two of them were a part of the annual Behold the Lamb of God Christmas show, and played “There is a Reason,” one of Ron’s finest. I wish you could have heard the way the audience gasped when the first notes of Alison’s voice rang out–she really is a rare treasure, and there was no denying it that night. But without great songs, like Ron’s in this case, her great voice would only be that. The combination of excellent, meaningful writing, impeccable musicianship, and that angelic voice are enough to level a room.

Notice how solid and tasteful Ron’s guitar playing is. When someone like him is capable of cutting loose (see the video below, for example), it makes you appreciate the simple, intentional undercurrent his playing provides. It may not sound like it, but trust me–the simple stuff is the hardest to play. That’s the difference between a Ron Block (or a Buddy Greene or an Adam Steffey or a Stuart Duncan) and the bluegrass band in a Kentucky bar. They can tear it up, sure, but reigning it in takes work, and talent, and taste. I love this music.

I’m including the video below because it’s hard not to smile and tap your foot while you watch. That’s Sierra Hull sticking her tongue out and playing the guitar (and here I just thought she was a mandolin ninja–or ninjette). Not sure who the rest of the ninjas are–can you help with that, Ron?


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