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Robert Plant, Alison Krauss Cover Tom Waits


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Umm, okay. And it's produced by T Bone Burnett. Oh, and look: a new Sam Phillips song. That photo: who knew? They actually look a little bit alike:

PlantKrauss_4_20070802_134248.jpg

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Robert Plant | Alison Krauss Album 'Raising Sand' Set For Release October 23

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, two of the most distinctive vocalists in

modern music, recently put the finishing touches on Raising Sand - their

astonishing new collaborative album. Set for release October 23 on Rounder

Records, the album was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded in Nashville

and Los Angeles with a stellar cast of supporting musicians, including

guitarists Marc Ribot and Norman Blake, multi-instrumentalist Mike Seeger,

drummer Jay Bellerose, and bassist Dennis Crouch. Plant is quick to define

Raising Sand as more a band record than a duet record, as it puts the two

great singers in a variety of vocal and instrumental combinations - from

songs featuring two-part brother-style harmony throughout to solo features

for each. Though they come from entirely different traditions, Alison Krauss

and Robert Plant create an amazing, unexpected, and entirely new sound when

they sing together.

The material, ingeniously chosen by Burnett with input from Plant and

Krauss, is the crucial thread that guides Raising Sand and gives the two

unique singers a forum to interact and equally express themselves. The songs

range from modern to classic, consisting mostly of lesser-known material

from a wide spectrum of great blues, R&B, country, and folk songwriters -

Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Little Milton Campbell, Mel Tillis, Townes Van Zandt,

Doc Watson, Phil and Don Everly among them. They also recorded the Robert

Plant/Jimmy Page song "Please Read the Letter," from the 1998 album Walking

Into Clarksdale. "You've got two singers that can handle a wide range of

material - storytellers," explains Burnett. "So you look for the stories...."

Krauss explained that the genesis of Raising Sand came about seven years

ago, when Plant called to say hello and that he'd love to work with her

someday. A few years later, Plant made good on his word and called Krauss

about participating in a Leadbelly tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame, where they sang together for the first time. The collaboration

revealed instant potential to the pair, and several years later they

enlisted Burnett to help them realize a more full-scale collaboration.

'Raising Sand' track listing:

Rich Woman (Dorothy LaBostrie-McKinley Millet)

Killing the Blues (Rowland Salley)

Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us (Sam Phillips)

Polly Come Home (Gene Clark)

Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On) (Phil and Don Everly)

Through the Morning, Through the Night (Gene Clark)

Please Read The Letter (Robert Plant-Michael Lee-Jimmy Page-Charlie Jones)

Trampled Rose (Tom Waits-Kathleen Brennan)

Fortune Teller (Naomi Neville)

Stick With Me Baby (Mel Tillis)

Nothin' (Townes Van Zandt)

Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson (Milt Campbell)

Your Long Journey (A.D. Watson and Rosa Lee Watson)

Edited by Andy Whitman
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She loves Foreigner and Lou Gramm. Not exactly "metal," but 1970s hard rock.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I remember an article in Mojo years ago, that asked Plant one of those "what must have or Desert Island or what do you listen to that nobody knows about" questions:

Big Black and Skip Spence/Moby Grape both factored into the list. I thought well.... it's not all Mordor and Kashmir.

My head gets a little bit wobbly trying to imagine Krauss and Plants voices together. Norman Blake and Marc Ribot!??

T Bone Burnett is enough producer to corral this herd of Cats for long enough to do something interesting.

The Ukulale and his expression make me think he is going to bust out some Israel Kamakawiwo'ole( kind of an impish, have you heard this song?)

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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This could possibly work, especially with T-Bone at the helm.

One thing's for sure: the bluegrass purists who shunned Alison for collaborating with the likes of Sting and John Waite are REALLY going to hate her now.

It could, and I'm intrigued if nothing else. Plant isn't exactly a stranger to trad folk/bluegrass territory, either, although he certainly put the trademark Led Zep stamp on it. "Hangman," from LZ III, is a prime example of what he can do with a traditional tune.

And there are some great songs on that list -- the two Gene Clark (post-Byrds, Dillard and Clark years) tracks, "Killin' the Blues," which Tom Waits acolyte Malcolm Holcomb covered to great effect, and that superb Townes Van Zant song. It just might work. Although the sight of Robert Plant sporting a ukelele really is a bit shocking. It just might not work, either.

Edited by Andy Whitman
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One thing's for sure: the bluegrass purists who shunned Alison for collaborating with the likes of Sting and John Waite are REALLY going to hate her now.

I don't think she'll lose any fans she hasn't already lost! She's been trending more country/pop than bluegrass for quite a while now. It's great music, but I miss her fiddle playing.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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One thing's for sure: the bluegrass purists who shunned Alison for collaborating with the likes of Sting and John Waite are REALLY going to hate her now.

I don't think she'll lose any fans she hasn't already lost! She's been trending more country/pop than bluegrass for quite a while now. It's great music, but I miss her fiddle playing.

This gets at something Andy wrote many months ago about his failure to remember any of Alison's melodies (something I chafed at, but have been thinking about ever since). Thing is, I'm becoming more and more convinced that Alison's strongest CD is the one that drives her bluegrass-lovin' fans the craziest: Forget About It.

I've been listening to it again this week. Is it pop? Yeah, pretty much. But it's beautifully crafted at times, and as far as melodies go, there are a handful of lovely ones on this CD.

Not to detract from discussion about Alison, or further compromise my theory, but there's a related thread idea buried in this post that has to do with Michael McDonald -- another guy whose music drives people (critics) half mad, but whose career has become a lot more interesting, IMHO, since he started working with Christian singer/songwriters. He wrote a couple of tracks on Forget About It. But that's for another thread, I guess.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I really like this. I'm still trying to take it all in. It strikes me as deliciously subversive! I don't know what I've been anticipating but I didn't imagine I would like it as much as I do.

I'm starting to think I need to start a "ubiquity of Tom Waits" thread.

It doesn't sound like Waits at all. But the vibe is so deep I think they all went to Tom's secret cave and couldn't get the funk off. Some of the Wait's wiff might be coming off Ribot (the crazy cuban/Bo Diddley vibe on fortune teller keeps me repeating).

It's not all Waits-ey

Please Read the Letter, puts me in mind of $1000 Wedding.It is really remarkably beautiful.

Their voices do have an impossibly Parsons/Harris quality.

I have a strong weakness for Gene Clark and they sure do him proud.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be picking this up from the library today. Can't wait to hear it... although it means I've got to take some time off from Bettye LaVette's latest. That's probably a good thing. LaVette's almost talked me into a habit of whiskey and cigarettes.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/articl...irst_tour_dates

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have announced their first set of tour dates in support of Raising Sand.

The album was released Oct. 23 on Rounder, debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified Gold soon after. The album’s first single, “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On),” was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The album as a whole was released too late to be eligible for this year’s awards.

T-Bone Burnett produced Raising Sand, and will lead the Plant and Krauss touring band. The extensive U.S. and European tour kicks off April 20 in Louisville, Ky. After five U.S. dates, the tour will shift to Europe for 11 dates in May before returning to the states for additional dates (TBA) in June and July.

Fans anxious for a peek at the upcoming tour can tune in to the Country Music Television’s CMT Crossroads: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The special, scheduled to air Feb. 11, features Plant and Krauss performing songs from Raising Sand, as well as music from each of the artists’ personal catalogs.

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have added more dates on their current tour. Details here.

The touring band, incidentally, is Jay Bellerose (drums), Dennis Crouch (bass), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Buddy Miller (guitar) and T Bone Burnett (guitar). That's just sick. If they come to a city near you (and for me, Louisville, KY, four hours away, will be near enough), check them out.

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have added more dates on their current tour. Details here.

The touring band, incidentally, is Jay Bellerose (drums), Dennis Crouch (bass), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Buddy Miller (guitar) and T Bone Burnett (guitar). That's just sick. If they come to a city near you (and for me, Louisville, KY, four hours away, will be near enough), check them out.

That's tempting...

Ticketmaster's returning errors.

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Guest thom_jurek

Let's offer a hearty three cheers for Mr. Plant for NOT simply going for the cash. When I read the British press last week that he had turned down a guaranteed 100 MILLION pounds for the Led Zeppelin reunion tour (each of the orignal members would have received that amount for a tour) in order to pursue this tour with Ms. Krauss, adfter the sucess of their duet recording, I was impressed, and edified. Apparently Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were very keen to do this--ad who could blame them?--Plant was more interested in pursuing this new direction than doing inferior versions of Zep faves (most folks know they had to lower the key signatures of the band's tunes for him to be able to sing them). The really amazing thing is that his net worth is estimated at 70 million pounds; he would have more than doubled his wealth. Sure, he'll make some money here, but the new work is more sustainable and apparently people really like it--the album reached number two on the Billboard chart. I have said this all along, like or dislike his records, he's always put himself out there is different contexts, and has worked steadily since the demise of Zeppelin. And, I WAS a Led Zeppelin fan back in the day--saw them three times in Detroit and their final tour in Paris where I lived at the time. I loved them and was terrified by the command they had over an audience, it was spooky: they could have told people to go out into the streets and riot or worse and many would have. I only wish this was a real death knell for reunions as they seldom make sense, but no way. When piles of money get tossed at people they are going to take it even if they make fools of themselves.

ANyway, three big cheers for old Rob-O for choosing art over commerce.

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