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Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand

Raising Sand

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Rounder Records - 11661 9075 2

Available from

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

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First thought when hearing about this pairing, was extremely odd sounding pairing, further thought opened the mind to the quality of excellence both have striven for in their musical lives. This grouping lays to sleep the old myth that when you pair superstars together you don't get anything that is as good as either one would do alone. This is a superb gem that far exceeds its parts, and does prove that 1 + 1 can = shear aural pleasure. You have the Led Zeppelin howling banshee teamed up with the earthy angel of bluegrass, and for all its seeming unlikelyness, they more than pull it off, and go beyond any expectations to another level that transcends and satiates all appetites. Much of the credit must go to T Bone Burnett for pulling in a supporting cast of musicians that is more than up to the task; and culling the song list, with input from the two singers, to come up with such wonderful songs written by the likes of Sam Phillips, Gene Clark Phil and Don Everly, and Townes Van Zandt among others. These are songs that span fissures and breaches; they patch holes in the fabric, creating new sonic landscapes that push personal boundaries and open new areas to exploration. The project spans a broad spectrum and pulls songs from Blues, R&B, Country, and folk music to show off these 2 outstanding vocalists, and make them become the storytellers.

The genesis of this disc came when the pair collaborated at a 2004 Lead Belly tribute, they were blown away by the chemistry in their voices. The voices meshed and blended, and harmonized in a way that is unexpected and rewarding. The world revolves at its own pace and here, these few years later comes the result of the mixing of those two seemingly disparate singers; a cohesive and dynamic whole that is going to give satisfaction at any level. Let us hope for more.

Track List:

  • Rich Woman (Dorothy LaBostrie and 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 (Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Charlie Jones, Robert Plant)
  • Trampled Rose (Tom Waits and 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)
Produced by T. Bone Burnette

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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