Reviews I have read keep calling the Robert Plant Alison Krauss collaboration an odd pairing. Inevitably they site Krauss as Bluegrass, Plant as rock or "bluesy rock" as one review put it. These comparisons miss one important point: Led Zeppelin had a strong folk element. Plant is an excellent folk singer, and it is in that folk voice that Raising Sand, the new Robert Plant/Alison Krass CD that's released today, works best.
Influenced with folk, rock and roll and country, Raising Sand is a collection of interesting and well chosen songs. But the real surprise is how well these two voices work together. As I mentioned off the top, conventional wisdom is that this is an odd paring. Yet somebody heard something between these two, because their voices harmonically combine beautifully to create a unique sound.
For Plant fans it is worth noting that this may be his best effort in a while, certainly superior to the previous Strange Sensation efforts.
Best songs: Stick With Me Baby for harmony between the two voices and Rich Woman and Fortune Teller for Plant vehicles. The CD finishes off with duet Your Long Journey, which puts Plant back in his Led Zeppelin III saddle, and Krauss in her home territory, with the result of the best song of the album.
Overall, a good CD that when I first heard about it I thought would be a pass, but definitely isn't.
Requisite reunion concert connection: The two voices work together so well, in the right way, that it wouldn't be inappropriate to have Alison Krauss join Zeppelin onstage at the 02 to perform Battle of Evermore - certainly better her than John Paul Jones. More on that idea on
a later post.