Friday, March 26, 2010


... Band Of Joy.  OK, I apologize for the purposely misleading headline, I couldn't help it. No, Robert Plant isn't putting Led Zeppelin back together! He is, however, reactivating his pre-Zep group, Band Of Joy (which also included John Bonham). It's not a reunion: none of the former members are involved.

He made the announcement today on his website. His band includes the great Buddy Miller.  Buddy played in the band on Robert's tour with Alison Krauss.  Robert guested on Buddy's great album with his wife, Julie Miller, Written In Chalk, which came out last year. And Buddy co-produced Robert's upcoming solo album.

Also in Robert's band: Patty Griffin!  That's pretty cool, and not too surprising. Patty and Buddy have worked together often, Patty was on Solomon Burke's Nashville album that Buddy produced, she sang on Buddy and Julie's Written In Chalk, and Buddy produced her latest album, Downtown Church, which is one of my favorite albums of the year so far.  

But anyway, what's funny about this whole development is that now people are going to be asking Robert Plant when he's going to reunite... with Alison Krauss. After decades of "the Zeppelin question," I bet he'll grin about that.  I think the deal is, she's working with her longtime band Union Station again, so when Robert and Alison finish their current projects, they'll get back together for a new album. They are both signed to the same label, Rounder Records, so there's some synergy there. But I think this is great for Robert: I know he worked hard for years to get himself out of the shadow of Zeppelin.  He's certainly not denying that he was in the band, and he's surely not turning down the royalty checks.  But I think at his age, he just doesn't want to have to compete with his younger self. And I think his album with Alison, Raising Sand, is really his first post-Zeppelin work that truly did that. It's cool that the
sort of left-of-center country scene has embraced him like this.  I bet the album
will be great. Robert and Band Of Joy tours in July (nowhere near the tri-state area, unfortunately), see the dates here.

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