Friday, 2 November 2007

Raising Sand, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss



This is my album of the year, and it only came out last week.

12 comments:

Philipa said...

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss? What a fantastic combination - thanks for that info Lilith :-)

Lilith said...

Pip, here's a review

"What on paper looks mis-matched can often be utterly right. Raising Sand has to be one of the best ever examples of this. Most people would have bet on Plant’s ex-band mate, John Paul Jones, as being the one to have forged this big league bluegrasss pairing. After all he's worked with Chris Thile and Nickel Creek as well as Uncle Earl, and plays a mean mandolin himself. But no, it's the grizzled, leonine king of c*ck rock who gets to get up-close and personal with the Union Station legend. And thank goodness it was, because Raising Sand has to be one of the releases of the year.

The first thing you notice about Raising Sand is how the pair's vocals compliment each other. Krauss’ honey-sweet chords can be saccharine on her own work at times, but here she's balanced by the mature grain of Plant's almost whispered delivery. On Killing The Blues or Gene Clark’s "Polly Come Home" they nudge up against each other, buoyed up by Greg Leisz’s floating pedal steel. And this from a man reknowned for going ‘baybeeee, baybeee’. Phew...

The selection of songs proves to be just as inspired as the pairing. With material by the Everlys ("Gone, Gone Gone"), Townes van Zant ("Nothin’") and even one from Plant’s last collaboration with Jimmy Page ("Please Read The Letter" – completely improved from its original incarnation) it would be hard to go that wrong, but the best of an embarrassment of riches has to be Krauss’ rendition of Tom Waits "Trampled Rose". Spellbinding doesn’t even come close to describing this.

The album’s other main star has to be T Bone Burnett. His production adds a veneer of authenticity and his choice of musicians is spot on at every turn. Marc Ribot (guitar) along with Dennis Crouch, Mike Seeger, Jay Bellerose, Norman Blake, Greg Leisz, Patrick Warren, and Riley Baugus make this a stunning, dark, brooding collection, comparable in tone to Daniel Lanois' masterful job on Dylan's Time Out Of Mind. It captures a gothic southern vibe effortlessly.

Hearing Krauss emote so bluesily on tracks like "Rich Woman" is a revelation, while her coruscating fiddle on "Nothin'" is rawer than you’d ever expect to hear from such a pillar of the new bluegrasss community. Raising Sand is proof that even with such dynamite raw material sometimes things really do add up to far more than the sum of their parts. Superb, in every way…

Chris Jones (2007-10-22)"

Lilith said...

My sister's boyfriend is playing banjo on it.

Philipa said...

Hmn gotta get that but I have to disagree with the reviewers expectations - Led Zep's influences were mostly blues and great blues too so Plant is well used to bending his vocals around the emotion such music demands. Theirs, of course, was a unique take on the genre and I've been interested in his work after Zep and pleased but not surprised to hear great music there too. I can't wait to hear this pairing - Alison Krauss has long been in my record collection.

I'll listen out for the banjo :-)

Lilith said...

Actually, it might be fiddle and or banjo. I don't have the sleeve notes: just for now I only have rapidly made copy. Mike Seeger plays banjo too.

You will not be disappointed Pippy. In fact your hair will stand on end. I heard it on Wednesday night at a friend's house and she pointed out that Sister's Boyfriend was on it.

It is bloody amazing. Even Elby loves it and he could never stand Led Zep.

Philipa said...

Found some samples here

Philipa said...

I like Mary Chapin Carpenter too and for some strange reason that completely eludes me I like singing along to this, from time to time. Strange but true.

Oh and Peggy Lee I think it is singing 'He's a tramp' from 'Lady and the Tramp' - it always makes me think of Boris Johnson for some reason?!

World Champ Stephen Neal said...

While I am generally opposed to individuals of the male persuasion wearing their hair beyond their neckline, I do have a soft spot for all things Bluegrass. I've got some scissors if you need.

Lilith said...

You look like a bluegrass man, Stephen :-)

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Lilith -



This music is, to put it simply, superb!!!

Thanks.

Lilith said...

It is indeed, Killemall. Superb.

Bri said...

Whilst I don't usually go for rock sung by pretentious "w*****s". the chemistry between Alison Krauss and Robert Plant is amazing,a truly superb album. This one went straight in my collection.