June 11, 2008

SWAMP AND SENSIBILITY:

Krauss and Plant get back to the roots (Steve Klinge, 6/11/08, The Inquirer)

When first rumored, the pairing of rock god Robert Plant and bluegrass lass Alison Krauss threatened to be a clash of sensibilities.

But last year's Grammy-winning album Raising Sand proved otherwise. With the help of producer and bandleader T-Bone Burnett, the two found common ground in eerie, swampy American roots music that mixed blues, early rock-and-roll, and country ballads. [...]

[Y]es, they did a few Zeppelin classics: "Rock and Roll" as a slow, sexy ballad, with Plant signaling for the backing "ahh-ahhs" from the sold-out audience that skewed in age closer to Plant's 59 than Krauss' 37; "The Ballad of Evermore" as a mandolin-backed duet; and "Black Country Woman," amped-up and banjo-driven, with Krauss shouting along with Plant.

Those shouts shocked, because Krauss has made a virtue of restraint throughout her career. She looked demure in a backless black blouse and black slacks, and her smiles seemed shy, but her singing and fiddling were anything but: this was a meeting of equals. Her leads on the a cappella "Down to the River to Pray," with Duncan, Plant and Miller doing close harmonies, and on the ancient folk ballad "Mattie Groves" (inserted in the middle of Plant's "In the Mood") were highlights.

After a hand-clapping romp through the gospel classic "You Don't Knock" and a loose and joyful version of George Jones' "One Woman Man," the encore ended with its most beautiful moment: Krauss singing lead with Plant in subtle harmony on the sad valedictory ballad "Long Journey Home."



Zemanta Pixie

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2008 6:39 AM
Comments

Alison Krauss is amazing. I'm not much of a bluegrass fan, but after somehow stumbling across her concert on Country Music Television (I don't think I've ever watched any other show on CMT) I've become a big fan. Her band, Union Station is responsible for the version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" used in the film "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?". Check out "Now That I've Found You" and "When You Say Nothing at All" on YouTube.

Posted by: Patrick H at June 11, 2008 10:49 AM

oj,
Anything produced by T-Bone is classic!
Think I sent you a "sick-eagle" copy of "Raising Sand"!
Equally classic, in the same genre, and also sent to you, would be Emmylou and Mark Kopfler, http://www.amazon.com/Roadrunning-Mark-Knopfler-Emmylou-Harris/dp/B000F0UV0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1213239594&sr=1-1

Posted by: Mike at June 11, 2008 10:01 PM
« WE ARE ALL SADRISTS NOW: | Main | SOME HELP PICKING YOUR THREE: »