Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Raising Sand (Rounder)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Oct. 26, 2007
Robert Plant & Alison KraussRaising Sand (Rounder)
Robert Plant's pilgrimages to the Deep South led him to Nashville for Raising Sand, an imaginative, seductive collaboration with bluegrass goddess Alison Krauss that explores the desolate valleys between his Delta blues and her Appalachian folk. Opener "Rich Woman" sways in the swamps, revealing the balance and beauty of Plant's restrained vocals, which carries over into mournful duet "Killing the Blues." The couple's cover of Gene Clark's "Polly Come Home" sounds like the Jesus & Mary Chain stripped of distortion, Krauss' atmospheric harmonies just like honey atop a slow-burning, Southern backdrop, while "Through the Morning, Through the Night" rekindles the Byrds' lonesome country. Led by Krauss' haunted vocals and solemn banjo, Sam Phillips' "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" mirrors the carnival mysticism of Tom Waits' "Trampled Rose." The Everly Brothers' "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" rocks and rolls, and Townes Van Zandt's "Nothin'" morphs into a classic Led Zeppelin stomp. One never knows what will happen at the crossroads.