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Author: Subject: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant- "white mountain music — it's new to me,"

Zen Peach





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  posted on 6/14/2008 at 02:50 PM
The articles are coming out in droves this week, with the Krauss-Plant-T-Bone road show back in the states and at Bonaroo this weekend. I love that T-Bone and Alison have Robert Plant singing a Doc Watson song. Fellow led Zepper John Paul Jones stepped into the bluegrass and mountain soul waters a few years ago, starting with a visit at Merlefest and leading to producing the latest Uncle Earl album, "Waterloo, Tennessee." Now, Plant is learning a lot on this tour, and realizing how deep the well is.

Good to see Stuart Duncan on this tour as a part of the band,m and a good move by T-Bone and Alison. I've known him for a while as he is a big part of the Nashville Bluegrass Band (NBB), and has been a go-to session guy for years. In the Krauss-Plant CMT concert special on TV, it was cool to see Alison bringing Robert to the storied Station Inn and hear her tell him about Stuart Duncan. One year at Merlefest I watched the NBB with Chris Thile, Gabe Witcher, and Bryan Sutton, three of the hottest young musicians going right now, and down the line they viewed Stuart as the best. Tone, ability, timing, sheer talent, and a nice guy to boot. I first mentioned Stuart on here way back in 2002 (http://tinyurl.com/6cqk7d). On this tour, Stuart plays fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmony vocals.

And, Buddy Miller is getting more onstage time with Marc Ribot doing other things, and that is cool because he is as well-rounded a musician as you could ever build a band around.

It looks like Robert is soaking up the music knowledge that is surrounding him on this tour, and it looks like more collaboration is coming in the future for this bunch. As for now, Bonaroo tomorrow, with the tour wrapping up in Nashville on July 19th. But, they will also gear it all up Sept. 27 at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Oct. 3 at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival.

quote:
After the success of Raising Sand, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss hope to continue working together, along with producer T-Bone Burnett. "I'm in no hurry to go anywhere," Plant told Billboard.com during a teleconference on Thursday. Krauss concurred, "We're all having a wonderful time, and I hope and I think all three of us are hoping to continue this and that it go on and on." But she added that they will all stay involved with other projects as well. "I feel like we're just starting to know what we can do with it," Burnett said. "The two of them are so incredibly good that I would hate to not continue to work with both of them." "That doesn’t mean we’ve lost any love for who we’ve played for and play with," said Krauss."The guys in Union Station — that’s like home. So I hope to continue this and go back home, too."

Plant and Krauss' current tour wraps on July 19 in Nashville.



quote:
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/21185915/beauty_and_the_beast

They are an odd couple as they walk up to their microphones on the opening night of their 2008 tour, at the Palace Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. Robert Plant, in his first concert since his live reunion with Led Zeppelin in London last year, has seasoned his rock-lord aura with a purple riverboat-dandy vest and white ruffled shirt. Alison Krauss, the most successful singer and fiddler in modern bluegrass, looks like she is on her way to a church social, in a long summer dress, her sharp cheekbones and demure smile framed by a cascade of light-brown hair. But it is clear from their first notes together, the creeping-sigh harmonies of "Rich Woman," a 1955 single by the R&B singer Li'l Millet that serves as the opener on Plant and Krauss' platinum collaboration, Raising Sand: The metal god and bluegrass queen were born to blend.

Backed by a crackling blues-noir band led by guitarist and Raising Sand producer T Bone Burnett, Plant and Krauss reprise nearly all of their 2007 album, gliding in bright parallel on the Everly Brothers' "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" and comforting each other with pinpoint harmonies on Doc Watson's "Your Long Journey." At times, Plant stalks Krauss' high voice in a ghost-dog croon. Krauss, in turn, shadows Plant on the New Orleans R&B classic "Fortune Teller" with wordless vocal licks, like a prayer call over Radio Timbuktu.

There are Zeppelin songs too, three from the band's untitled fourth album: "When the Levee Breaks," the raunchy "Black Dog" (Krauss sings "Watch your honey drip" with cool glee) and the show's highlight, "The Battle of Evermore," an Arthurian tale recorded by Plant with the British folk singer Sandy Denny. They never performed the song live. But Krauss — who was born in 1971, the year that Zeppelin album came out — harmonizes with Plant like an Appalachian Valkyrie, matching his gritty blues-warrior cries with spearlike notes and church rapture.

"They're both soulmen," Burnett raves the next day on a tour bus parked next to the Palace. "There is gospel in that song — the 'Prince of Peace' — and the same darkness you find in bluegrass and murder ballads. It is a darkness that is absolutely in Robert, in his voice and life, that Alison understands." Later, Plant admits he went onstage that night "laden with nerves. I wanted to make it work for her. Alison was stepping out of her world." So is Plant, who turns 60 in August. "I'm listening intently up there, because I've never heard another singer alongside me.

"And white mountain music — it's new to me," confesses Plant, who has a deeper knowledge of American blues. He cites Kentucky singer Roscoe Holcomb's chilling treatment of "House of the Rising Sun." "It's a black song, but the way he deals with it — he is invoking spirits that are now driving me to some other place."

Krauss has led her own band, Union Station, for almost 20 years. But singing with Plant "is like standing on a cliff," she says over the phone, a few shows into the U.K. leg of their tour. "In bluegrass, the lead vocal stays consistent. Everything around it is the harmony. But Robert is always improvising, and I gotta watch him. I said, 'If you're gonna go up, just look up, so I can see where you're going.' "

Even that doesn't always work. "We had something the other night," Krauss says, laughing. "We ended 'When the Levee Breaks,' and I thought, 'What just happened?' We were all over the place. Robert just shrugged."

"I only work on impulse," Plant says cheerfully in his defense. "There is nothing I feel I can't do. And I'm wholehearted about this," he says of their partnership.

"This is not about a move for me," Plant insists. "This is a genuine shifting of space and air."

Read the entire interview in the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands June 13, 2008.



quote:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121338874550773025.html?mod=googlenew s_wsj

MUSIC


Alison Krauss And Robert Plant, Together

It's a pairing that works a lot better than you might expect

By JIM FUSILLI
June 14, 2008

ROANOKE, Va. -- At first blush, Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant and bluegrass singer and fiddler Alison Krauss seem an unlikely pair, but they share territory on the pop landscape. Witness Ms. Krauss's faithful version of Mr. Plant's "Big Log" on her brother Viktor's album "Far From Enough" or her forays into pop with her band Union Station. Then there are the mellow, velvety smooth folk-based songs on Mr. Plant's solo recordings or the folky side of Zeppelin, a band formed by Delta and Chicago blues.

The best evidence of their commonality is the Plant-Krauss 2007 collaboration, "Raising Sand" (Rounder), produced by T-Bone Burnett. The million-selling album comprises country-flavored rock and rockabilly from the 1950s, with a touch of Kurt Weill's Weimar Republic-era arrangements here and there, all enveloped by Mr. Burnett's shimmering, atmospheric production. The disc provided most, but by no means all, of the material for Mr. Plant and Ms. Krauss's current U.S. tour, which resumed here on June 2 after the troupe spent early May in Europe.

In concert, the music was a little bit looser and by turns quiet and tranquil, pounding and aggressive as the singers and their five-piece backing band tossed bluegrass numbers and several reworked Led Zeppelin songs into the mix. The singers' versatility was matched by the band's, which featured Mr. Burnett on guitar, Stuart Duncan on all sorts of stringed instruments, Dennis Crouch on upright bass and Jay Bellerose on drums; all of these musicians played on "Raising Sand." Nashville's Buddy Miller was also on guitar, succeeding the album's Marc Ribot, and Mr. Miller's presence deepened the country twang.

But with the exception of Mr. Crouch and Mr. Bellerose, rarely did the musicians play the same instruments in consecutive songs, nor were they always on stage at the same time. When Ms. Krauss sang the bluegrass gospel song "Green Pastures," she was accompanied only by Mr. Crouch and Mr. Duncan on guitar. She began "Down to the River to Pray" as a solo a cappella number; soon she was joined by Messrs. Plant, Miller and Duncan singing low harmonies. "Leave My Woman Alone" was built on Ms. Krauss's fiddle and Mr. Duncan's mandolin, and the two played fiddle as Mr. Plant offered a decidedly country version of his solo hit "In the Mood." Fronting the band when Ms. Krauss departed, Mr. Plant bridged the U.S. and the U.K. with "Fortune Teller," previously recorded by the Rolling Stones and the Who but written by New Orleans' Allen Toussaint.

Both vocalists were in extraordinary voice -- perhaps not a surprise given how distinctive and commanding they usually are. But they blended so well together, whether they were singing a tight, controlled Everly Brothers-style harmony in "Rich Woman," the night's opener, or letting loose during a soaring reimagining of Zeppelin's "Black Country Woman" that seemed to rattle the bunker-like Roanoke Civic Center.

Though there are no Zeppelin songs and only one composition by Mr. Plant and his Zeppelin partner Jimmy Page on "Raising Sand," the band's material was a focal point of the concert -- and yet another opportunity to celebrate versatility. "Black Dog" arose from an interpretation of its guitar lick by Mr. Duncan on banjo, and Mr. Plant and Ms. Krauss gave it a sly, understated reading: Though they've been playing this version for months -- you can find a performance on You Tube -- they still seem delighted by the audacity of the re-creation. Later, they let their voices fly during "Battle of Evermore," with Mr. Miller adding a gorgeous third harmony. "When the Levee Breaks," which Zeppelin reinvented 42 years after Memphis Minnie's version in 1929, served as a fitting conclusion to the two-hour show, with strands of country and rock flavoring the blues.

They paid tribute to Bo Diddley, who died earlier in the day, by playing his "Who Do You Love," Mr. Plant alternating the vocal with a piercing harmonica solo. Mr. Burnett's penchant for reverb and tremolo, his and Mr. Miller's chugging guitars, and Mr. Bellerose's use of maracas, toms and sticks on the drums' rims created a pretty fair facsimile of the Bo Diddley sound and a rebuke to those who attempted to define the late musician in their eulogies by a single rhythmic pattern.

From beneath a cascading mane, the 59-year-old Mr. Plant was in a playful spirit throughout the evening, joking through song introductions and smiling and glancing out of the corner of a twinkling eye at the reserved Ms. Krauss, who did her best to avoid his distractions. Calling her "the most gifted musician I know," he made it clear he relished the chance to perform at her side, all but laughing in joy after a song in which their vocals intertwined.

As for Ms. Krauss, who is 36 years old, her voice is so pure and potent that she can control a down-tempo number by holding a crystalline note and letting it build in volume, seemingly without effort. If the evening's version of Tom Waits's "Trampled Rose" was maudlin to the point of overbearing, Ms. Krauss wasn't to blame. She sang it with disarming power.

Which isn't to say that Mr. Plant was outclassed. The duo's version of Doc Watson's "Your Long Journey" was a lovely bluegrass prayer, and in "Killing the Blues" their voices formed a flawless two-part harmony. Despite an evening's worth of resourcefulness and invention, the most magical moments were when the singers sang, together and without reservation.





[Edited on 6/14/2008 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/14/2008 at 02:54 PM
I hope this collaboration continues cause I really like it
 

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  posted on 6/17/2008 at 11:15 AM
I saw Robert Plant & Alison Krauss last Wed. night in NYC( their second night in NY). It was an excellent show; pretty much what I expected. They both seem to be having a great time singing with each other. They brought along a great band of musicians; Alison said from the stage that " Stuart Duncan is her favorite musician in the whole world." And it was nice seeing Buddy Miller again; I've seen him play with Emmy Lou Harris.
My only complaint was that the audience seemed a little restless. This music asks for the listener's undivided attention;for the most part, it's quiet music; it possesses an otherworldly quality. You really need to listen. Anyway, I didn't let anything spoil the experience for me. Had an enjoyable time.
I hope their collaboration continues,too.

[Edited on 6/17/2008 by Bessie.Smith]

[Edited on 6/17/2008 by Bessie.Smith]

 

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  posted on 6/17/2008 at 02:06 PM
quote:
My only complaint was that the audience seemed a little restless. This music asks for the listener's undivided attention;for the most part, it's quiet music; it possesses an otherworldly quality. You really need to listen. Anyway, I didn't let anything spoil the experience for me. Had an enjoyable time.
I hope their collaboration continues,too.


As was stated during the first leg of the US tour, it seems you have a fair percentage of people showing up who think they're going to a Zep concert. You know, the type of person that goes to a concert once every 5 years, and tend to act like they are in high school again, even though they are 50 years old. Can't handle their alcohol, etc. Although I was disapointed that Plant nixed the Zep tour, I can't blame him. I'd rather look at Alison than Jimmy if I were him. Their rendition of "Please Read The Letter" gives me the chills. Very nice.

 

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  posted on 6/17/2008 at 02:48 PM
quote:
quote:
My only complaint was that the audience seemed a little restless. This music asks for the listener's undivided attention;for the most part, it's quiet music; it possesses an otherworldly quality. You really need to listen. Anyway, I didn't let anything spoil the experience for me. Had an enjoyable time.
I hope their collaboration continues,too.


As was stated during the first leg of the US tour, it seems you have a fair percentage of people showing up who think they're going to a Zep concert. You know, the type of person that goes to a concert once every 5 years, and tend to act like they are in high school again, even though they are 50 years old. Can't handle their alcohol, etc. Although I was disapointed that Plant nixed the Zep tour, I can't blame him. I'd rather look at Alison than Jimmy if I were him. Their rendition of "Please Read The Letter" gives me the chills. Very nice.


Oh yeah, I've seen that type of person. At the Plant/Krauss concert, and at many other shows. You described it perfectly; usually baby boomers who think the concert is an excuse to act like a teenager again. Pathetic. It seems music is nothing more than nostalgia to these folks.
BTW, 'Please Read My Letter' was one of my favorite moments from the show. Chills, indeed. Robert went up close to Alison and danced stealthily around her during it. And Plant's showmanship doesn't clash with Alison's reserve. They obviously feel very comfortable with each other.

 

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  posted on 6/17/2008 at 02:53 PM
quote:
Their rendition of "Please Read The Letter" gives me the chills.
Me too - very nice combo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL29_GH91f8

 

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  posted on 11/26/2008 at 07:26 PM
quote:
http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/News/plant-on-zeppelin-everyone s/

Plant on Zeppelin: ‘Everyone’s Got to Eat!’
Plant will start work on a new album with Alison Krauss T. Bone Burnett in January
Gabriel J. Hernandez | 11.26.2008


Apparently, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has given his stamp of approval to the as-yet-unnamed ensemble featuring Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Jason Bonham and an as-yet-unnamed singer.

Speaking to a reporter from the Birmingham Evening Mail two weeks ago, Plant confirmed that he wouldn’t be joining Page, Jones and Bonham if and when they hit the road sometime in 2009. The singer revealed that part of the reason is because he’ll be returning to the studio to record a new album with Alison Krauss and T. Bone Burnett in January. He then added, “… but I understand that everyone’s got to eat,” meaning the Plant-less reunion has his blessing.

According to the Evening Mail, Plant made surprise appearance at Bliston’s Robin 2 club to help celebrate singer Ricky Cool’s 30 years in music. Before joining the band onstage to sing “a couple of bluesy numbers,” Plant confirmed earlier reports by saying, “They won’t be calling it Led Zeppelin.”

Myles Kennedy, lead singer of Alter Bridge, is reported to be the frontrunner to handle lead throat duties with Page, Jones and Bonham, who have all confirmed at various times over the last several weeks that they’ve been rehearsing in London to get ready to hit the road sometime in 2009 – with or without Plant. Other vocalists rumored to be in the running are Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Jack White, Sammy Hagar, Dave Grohl and Chris Cornell, athough White and Cornell have dismissed the reports.

Plant, meanwhile, has steadfastly refused to join the trio, citing his desire to not tour “with anyone for at least the next two years.”





quote:
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=64384

Riffs: Giving Buddy his due
By: Ron Wynn, rwynn@nashvillecitypaper.com

At this year’s Americana Music Awards ceremonies, one of the night’s highlights came when Robert Plant and Alison Krauss presented Buddy Miller with the association’s Instrumentalist of the Year award.

This was among the best kept secrets of the evening, and Miller, who’d been leading the house band that evening, later performed “Whatcha Gonna Do, Leroy” from his forthcoming new CD due in the spring of 2009. That award followed on the heels on No Depression, naming him their Artist of the Decade on their final print edition.

That evening was a rare moment in the limelight for one of American music’s great unsung talents, lavishly praised by his colleagues but largely unknown by the general public.

A fabulous guitarist, outstanding producer (past clients include Solomon Burke, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Allison Moorer) and tremendous songwriter (The Dixie Chicks, Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Hummingbirds and Lee Ann Womack are just a few people who’ve recorded Miller compositions), Miller also ranks among the greatest pure singers in country, folk or Americana music.

While his recent releases, particularly 2004’s United House of Prayer, have made some mainstream impact and he’s currently getting nightly raves for his playing as part of the Plant/Krauss tour, the new reissue Buddy Miller – The Best of the Hightone Years (Shout! Factory/Hightone) covers his earlier years, featuring material from 1995-2002.

This highlights Miller’s delightful and formidable guitar work, with the setting ranging from three-piece tunes to large ensembles. The selections include poignant pieces co-written by Miller and his wife Julie (“The River’s Gonna Run,” “My Love With Follow You,” “Little Darlin,” “Keep Your Distance’) to a stirring soul cover (“That’s How Strong My Love Is,”) an excellent version of Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got To Memphis” and “Hole In My Head,” a piece Miller co-wrote with Jim Lauderdale in 1995.

Contributing vocalists include Emmylou Harris (“Cruel Moon), Daryl Johnston (who doubles on bass), Lee Ann Womack (“I Can’t Get Over You”) and, of course, Julie (superb performances on “Hole in My Head” and “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go”).

Several of these numbers have since been expanded, altered or enhanced, but these are the initial versions with Buddy and Julie Miller establishing their sound, honing their approach and evolving into a powerhouse act. Perhaps their return to the marketplace will get this music the larger audience it deserved the first time out, but if not, it’s good those who missed it earlier get a second chance to hear it.

 

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