Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
“Hey! Let’s put the singer from the greatest metal band in history into a studio with a refined bluegrass fiddler and see what happens,” said the musical gods.
The result, the album Raising Sand, is a gorgeous celebration of music that is perhaps the purest example of duets that I have ever listened to. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss seem to come from different planets yet their voices caress one another in a way that could never be planned. There’s a genuine respect, admiration, and comfort in the way their voices compliment one another that plays like long-lost lovers.
Produced by T Bone Burnett, this collection of songs is borrowed from blues, country, and R&B artists (Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Phil & Don Everly–to name a few) sounds old. That is to say that it sounds like an old classic that has just now been unearthed, buried in the back of a bar in the bayou. If Johnny Cash were still alive today, he’d likely be jamming to this record.
There are no flaws Raising Sand. “Killing the Blues” would give chills to a penguin and is perhaps one of the greatest vocal performances of the past decade. “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” is rockabilly at its finest. “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson”–a song that Krauss leads but sings from a male perspective–is as wonderful as The White Stripes’ cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
Tossed in as an added bonus, perhaps to remind us that Plant’s ties to Zeppelin are stronger than ever, is a cover of the Page/Plant penned “Please Read the Letter” off of 1998’s Walking Into Clarksdale.
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss: www.robertplantalisonkrauss.com