Robert Plant & the Band of Joy
Live From the Artists Den (Artists Den / Universal)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 31, 2012
Robert Plant & the Band of JoyLive From the Artists Den (Artists Den/Universal)
A near-blizzard engulfed the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., last February. Inside, things were quite a bit warmer for the Band of Joy. Under the moniker of his pre-Led Zeppelin band with the late John Bonham, Robert Plant marches through a flurry of hits, plus tunes from Los Lobos, Richard Thompson, and traditionals. This version of Band of Joy includes journeyman guitarist Buddy Miller, super-songwriter Darrell Scott on pedal steel, banjo, and mandolin, and Austin sweetheart/songbird Patty Griffin on vocals, each musician getting a turn in the spotlight. Miller's "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go" benefits from Plant's bluesy harmonica, and the Led Zeppelin material receives rearrangement into one rattling groove after another, with the "Ramble On" jam especially energized. Not much to watch, but sonically it's riveting.