Sounds worth a spin, liked the Alison Krauss collaboration, and have been really digging into American roots music, Bakersfield, etc., plus always finding time to rock out a bit to Led Zeppelin once in a while.
Last night, Robert Plant dropped in at a dimly lit bar in the East Village near the end of a listening session for his newest album, Band of Joy, and for a few brief moments, admitted he didn’t know what to talk about. “Should I tell you about the Butter Queen and the Plaster Casters in Chicago?” he said, referencing some of the most famous groupies in rock history. “That’s not quite as relevant now as back then — and penicillin is easily available now.”
Holding a microphone in front of a small crowd at New York’s Back Room, the Led Zeppelin frontman quickly changed the subject to the new disc, due September 14th on Rounder Records. Band of Joy follows the intimate, moody vibe of his Grammy-winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, but the songs are more powerful, like the blazing spiritual classic “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” and a hard-driving take on “Harm’s Swift Way,” a rare Townes Van Zandt track.
Band of Joy was originally Plant’s experimental blues outfit in Birmingham, England, from 1966 to 1968, which helped earn him the nickname “The wild man of the blues from the Black Country.” John Bonham joined in 1967. While Plant’s Zep days were often too demanding to allow him time to appreciate American music, one of his earliest singles was a cover of the Rascals’ “You Better Run” in 1966. Plant was 17, playing with the Tennessee Teens for Columbia Records, and says the track went nowhere. “It disappeared without a trace,” he remembered. “Forty-one years later, I finally decided that it was worth working with American musicians.”
Resurrecting the Band of Joy, Plant picked out top-notch roots musicians and session players for the group: multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, guitarist and co-producer Buddy Miller, drummer Marco Giovino and bassist Byron House. “I’m working with arch-bishops of good taste,” Plant said.
(click to continue reading Robert Plant Previews Upcoming Band of Joy Album | Rolling Stone Music.)
Hmm, don’t know the Townes Van Zandt song called Harm’s Swift Way, have to look into that.