In October of 2007, classic rock legend Robert Plant and American bluegrass legend Alison Krauss delivered an unexpected collaboration — an Americana album called Raising Sand. It charted on folk, country, pop and rock charts, and won five GRAMMY Awards in 2009, including ‘Album Of The Year’. Last November, 14 years later, the unlikely duo finally released their follow-up album, Raise The Roof, and it is even better than the first time.
These two powerhouse vocalists take their ethereal combination on the road this summer, with full band backup, to thrill audiences.
I was fortunate enough to be asked by a couple of old college friends to fly to northern Virginia on a few days notice and trek on up to the beautiful Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, just miles from where I had lived from 2007-2012. The friend I stayed with was an old roommate, who had seen Mr. Plant with me on his solo tour in the late 1980s, as well as the Page/Plant tour in the 90s — both in Maryland. How is that for nostalgia?
Having only peripheral knowledge of these two Americana classic albums, we dug deep in the week leading up to the concert, knowing full well that this was a Plant & Krauss show, not a Zeppelin show. Turns out that both of these albums are amazing: the newer one even stronger and more upbeat than the original, which had dominated the 2009 GRAMMYs.
Both albums are full of well-curated cover songs, running the gamut of American folk and country history.
This concert only served to elevate the music even further. The band was completely on point and everything about this was LIVE. Robert Plant is notorious for improvisation and living in the moment; Alison Krauss typically sticks to the planned melody, with heavenly vocals and yearning violin. A huge part of the excitement of seeing this performance is watching Mr. Plant attempt to color somewhere on the page, while Ms. Krauss gently steers things somewhat near the lines.
There was so much joy clearly evident on the faces of the fans, as well as the lead singers, with no egos and no desires for a specific setlist. Instead, the duo took turns supporting each other: Krauss playing violin and harmonizing when Plant had primary vocal duties, and Plant shaking maracas in the shadows and harmonizing when Krauss took the lead. They played 20 songs in total,
six tunes from Raising Sand, 10 of the 12 from Raise The Roof, and three unique takes on Led Zeppelin classics “Rock And Roll”, “The Battle Of Evermore” and “When The Levee Breaks”. There are a few shows left on this tour, so get to the links below straight away and secure your spot. You do not want to miss this one.
Purchase or stream ‘Raise the Roof’ album:
Cover photo by Jeff DuBro