Wednesday, December 22, 2010


People asked, how could Robert Plant possibly walk away from his collaboration with Allison Krauss to do another solo album? Their album Raising Sand, won six Grammys over two years, sold over a million records in the US and was highly acclaimed. It even seemed to accomplish what Robert couldn't do on his own for over two decades: take him out of Led Zeppelin's shadow. It must have been tempting to do a second duo album.

The thing is, they did try, and it wasn't working. Keep in mind, Robert Plant is the guy who turned down probably well into the eight figures for a Zeppelin reunion tour to work with Krauss.

I interviewed Plant eight years ago or so, and he told me "I ain't got much time, I can't mess around," meaning he didn't want to waste time on projects if he wasn't 110% behind them. So, rest assured, when he does an album, he means it. If it were about the money, he'd be singing Zeppelin songs and making millions of bucks. He follows the muse these days, period.

So when things didn't work out this time with Krauss (he has said the door is open to work together again), he put together a new band with an old name: Band Of Joy, the group he and John Bonham played in before Zeppelin. He collaborated with the great Buddy Miller (who played guitar in Plant/Krauss' touring group) for the Band Of Joy album.  Where Raising Sand was almost a reverent museum piece of semi-obscure Americana, Band Of Joy sees Robert bringing his west coast psychedelic influences to the party. The touring band features Buddy and also the incredible singer Patty Griffin.  I saw one of their first US shows.  The show floored me. The album does also. I know some of the source material on the album (like Raising Sand, it is mainly covers). Los Lobos, Richard Thompson, Townes Van Zant. But there's lots of really obscure songs, that Robert really brings to life. Like Raising Sand, this is an album you don't have to be a Zeppelin fan to enjoy.

Check out: "Angel Dance," "House Of Cards," "Silver Rider," "Falling In Love Again," "Monkey," "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down."

No comments: