Raising Sand

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Robert Plant / Alison Krauss
Raising Sand

[ Decca Records / CD ]

Release Date: Thursday 25 October 2007

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Two of the most distinctive vocalists in modern music, present their astonishing new collaborative album. The pair create an amazing, unexpected, and entirely new sound when they sing together.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, two of the most distinctive vocalists in modern music, present 'Raising Sand' - their astonishing new collaborative album.

'Raising Sand' was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles with a stellar cast of supporting musicians, including guitarists Marc Ribot and Norman Blake, multi-instrumentalist Mike Seeger, drummer Jay Bellerose, plus bassist Dennis Crouch.

Plant is quick to define 'Raising Sand' as more a band record than a duet record, as it puts the two great singers in a variety of vocal and instrumental combinations - from songs featuring two-part brother-style harmony throughout to solo features for each. Though they come from entirely different traditions, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant create an amazing, unexpected, and entirely new sound when they sing together. The material, ingeniously chosen by Burnett with input from Plant and Krauss, is the crucial thread that guides 'Raising Sand' and gives the two unique singers a forum to interact and equally express themselves.

The songs range from modern to classic, consisting mostly of lesser-known material from a wide spectrum of great blues, R&B, country, and folk songwriters - Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Little Milton Campbell, Mel Tillis, Townes Van Zandt, Doc Watson, Phil and Don Everly among them. They also recorded the Robert Plant / Jimmy Page song "Please Read the Letter", from the 1998 album 'Walking Into Clarksdale'.

"You've got two singers that can handle a wide range of material - storytellers," explains Burnett. "So you look for the stories..." Krauss explained that the genesis of 'Raising Sand' came about seven years ago, when Plant called to say hello and that he'd love to work with her someday. A few years later, Plant made good on his word and called Krauss about participating in a Leadbelly tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where they sang together for the first time. The partnership revealed instant potential to the pair, and several years later they enlisted Burnett to help them realize a more full-scale collaboration.

The combination of Krauss' silken interpretation of American roots forms with Plant's defiantly, globally-informed mélange could have turned down any number of sonic byways. Yet Burnett's relentless focus and the selfless dedication of the two principals has resulted in an album that defies genres in favor of a wide open brand of seismic soul music. Pitched three steps beyond some cosmic collision of early urban blues, spacious West Texas country, and the unrealized potential of the folk/rock revolution, 'Raising Sand' is shockingly evocative - an album that uncovers popular music‚s elemental roots while sounding effortlessly, breath-takingly modern.

Tracks:

1. Rich Woman (Dorothy LaBostrie / McKinley Millet)
2. Killing the Blues (Rowland Salley)
3. Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us (Sam Phillips)
4. Polly Come Home (Gene Clark)
5. Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On) (Phil and Don Everly)
6. Through the Morning, Through the Night (Gene Clark)
7. Please Read The Letter (Robert Plant / Michael Lee / Jimmy Page / Charlie Jones)
8. Trampled Rose (Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan)
9. Fortune Teller (Naomi Neville)
10. Stick With Me Baby (Mel Tillis)
11. Nothin' (Townes Van Zandt)
12. Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson (Milt Campbell)
13. Your Long Journey (A.D. Watson and Rosa Lee Watson)