The presser for the Robert Plant and the Band of Joy Live From The Artists Den DVD states that Plant presents "six Led Zeppelin classics..." Yea, well... If you've come here from a google search for "Whatever happened to Robert Plant Led Zeppelin?", stop reading now. That Robert Plant left the building some time ago.
If, however, you have followed and enjoyed Robert Plant's solo career, keep reading, there's good news.
Live From The Artists Den was recorded on Feb 8 and 9th, 2011 at the intimate War Memorial Auditorium. The Band of Joy had progressed and developed over the winter of 2011, and by this stage had developed a bit of an edge. That edge is in full flower on the Live From The Artists Den DVD of reworked Led Zeppelin songs, songs from the the Band of Joy album and some old-timey Americana.
Truthfully, by the time The Band of Joy rolled into Nashville even a known to be sceptical blogger was becoming sold that Band of Joy was doing some interesting music. That impression is proven fully on Live From The Artists Den.
The Band of Joy was fully a band in every sense of the word by the time this show was recorded for PBS. So far gone is the Golden God from the land of ice and snow that Plant takes a secondary position on a series of songs while guitarists Buddy Miller, Darrell Scott and his "companion" Patty Griffin take a song each. Plant even moves into the background physically during these moments, doing his best bass-less John Paul Jones imitation.
But the Band of Joy had an edge, and it is fully on display on Live From The Artists Den. While Plant purrs his vocals, the guitars virtually growl, giving a dark, rock edge to the country and traditional tinged setlist.
The DVD itself is first rate, the videography providing an intimate feel - catching the band members smiling at each other for example - and spreading the screen time around the band. This is no Robert Plant show, and no Robert Plant DVD. It is Band of Joy all the way.
If you missed the Band of Joy when they came around, as I did, it's OK: you can see them now up close and personal, a DVD so good it feel like your there.
Information on the DVD is here, including the tracklist.