For those like me who are fans of the ongoing work of Robert “Led Zeppelin” Plant, he did a great (and fairly quick) on-air interview at WXRT this week. Go here to give it a listen:
Lucky Boy Lin Brehmer had the honor once again, of course. I met Lin at a Chicago event earlier this summer. Great guy, very accessible. Nobody deserves it more, nobody does it better. The original “great to be alive” guy.
At the WXRT link, there is also a link to Robert’s new album itself, Band of Joy, ALL of which is apparently streamable right now via spinner.com (how long that will last, I dunno).
On the new CD, he covers Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance” –even shot the music video with some of Los Chicos from the Lobos right here in Chicago’s Little Village! He also covers a Richard & Linda Thompson song, plus a couple songs by the Duluth, MN indie band Low (who I’m sure could use the exposure, and it’s certainly well-deserved). “Bob” also returns to his 50’s-era rockabilly roots again on other cuts… and brilliantly does whatever he damned well pleases, as usual. He could sing the phone book and make it sound interesting, as they say.
Better still, his producer and collaborator for the new record is one of the quiet giants of the country and Americana scene: Buddy Miller (who has also produced Americana icon Bill Mallonee, in town this Friday to do a show and seminar that I helped put together). Also included in the Band of Joy that Robert is touring with: none other than that sweet Texas songstress Patty Griffin – my sister Karen’s favorite musical artist ever… she even named her son Griffin!
Oh, and here’s a thought: With the way he’s working lately with the likes of Allison Krauss, T-Bone Burnett, Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin, might be that this old hippie’s even “got religion” finally in his old age (he’s 61)… but having seen how many Dylan fans chewed him out for going public with his Jesus thing, Robert’s keeping a lid on it. Whadya think? If nothing else, at least Southern Gothic Gospel seems to be quite in fashion these days.
It seems some harmonic convergence of the world’s most perfect mix-tape, spanning 75 years of organic, musical joy and pain is showing up in Chicago this month — as if we’re Memphis North or sumthin’ . Don’t miss it, friends. Like the final song on the record says: Even This Shall Pass Away.
“Been a long time since I Robert planted…”
(Now riff Jimmy, riff!!! Oops… I mean Buddy. Play it nice and crunchy, all garage-rocky and angular. You know what I mean… then pick up that mandolin and show these headbangers how a REAL picker brings down the house.)