December 3, 2021

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Recording review: Robert Plant and Alison Krause – “Raising the Roof”: A History of Live Music – VG

At the bar: Robert felt he needed a few more units before karaoke.

Album: Folk / Rock
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
“raise the roof”
(Warner Music)

The superduo Plant & Krauss doesn’t strictly raise the roof. But the soul? Absolutely.

VG dice show 5 points

One of the happiest musical collaborations of 2007 came from an unexpected source: “Raising Sand” united the voices of Robert Plant, frontman Led Zeppelin, and bluegrass phenom Allison Krause, who attacked a group of somewhat obscure Americana songs from different sides – Krause’s voice The crystal clear and stoic calm of someone who has this type under their skin, cultivate with a rusty, mature desire and wide eyes to explore.

After 14 years, the duo is finally ready with a sequel, and a lot is at stake.

Über producer T-Bone Burnett is back, and it’s easy to imagine that this time too he’s got a finger in the cake when it comes to choosing cover, which runs from dusty interwar blues (Geeshie Wiley) through Scottish people (Bert Janch), Chicago soul ( Bobby Moore), country (Merle Haggard) and contemporary texmex indie (Calexico).

And most importantly: the duo still has the power to make who originally wrote and performed these songs irrelevant. Krause in particular pulls a heavy load here: The Everly Brothers’ 1965 single “The Price of Love” went grim and restless on its release, and Betty Harris’ version of “Trouble With My Lover” smells of the grandeur of the original.

We should also mention a great and commanding version of Jansch’s aforementioned “It Don’t Bother Me”. Robert Plant, for his part, is delighted with the spoof “Can’t Let Go,” which many will recognize from Cynda Williams’ modern classic “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” (1998).

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Like its predecessor, “Raise the Roof” offers one original composition – “High and Lonesome”, by Plant and Burnett, which initially sounds like a simple, old-fashioned epitaph to the “bold” Western series on HBO. But here, too, magical vocal harmonies creep in even before the first chorus ends.

“Raise the Roof” might lose a song or two on par with the strongest debut songs, such as the powerful opening troika “Rich Woman,” “Killing the Blues,” and “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.” It doesn’t matter: Alison Krause and Robert Plant present another fascinating – not least vibrant – piece of music history.

the best song: “The Price of Love”