Along with the improbable success of the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou? in 2000—which went on to win all kinds of awards, sell millions of copies, and helped renew interest in bluegrass—the 2007 album pairing up Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant with singer and bluegrass maestro Alison Krauss called Raising Sand also pulled off the improbable, landing all sorts of accolades, including the all-genre Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2009, and six Grammy trophies overall.
Produced by T Bone Burnett, and featuring musicians such as Norman Blake, Greg Leisz, Marc Ribot, and Dennis Crouch, the reprisal of classic songs that deserved attention and had yet to be overdone captured a magic that had crowds and critics swooning. To see someone of the stature of Robert Plant eschew a Led Zepplin reunion tour to devote himself to American roots music, and with Alison Krauss no less was a sight to behold.
The two originally met and collaborated at a 2004 Lead Belly tribute concert at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singing the Lead Belly song “Black Girl.” They struck up a friendship over their mutual love for Ralph Stanley, and the rest was history. Ever since the success of Raising Sand, there’s been talk of a follow up, and apparently they tried to record one at some point with producer Daniel Lanois that never fully materialized. But apparently Robert and Alison’s mutual love for the song “Quattro (World Drifts In)” by Calexico inspired new sessions, with a new album is on the way.
“[That] was the moment I knew we’d make another album,” Krauss says. “We wanted it to move. We brought other people in, other personalities within the band, and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.”
Plant says, “You hear something and you go ‘Man, listen to that song, we got to sing that song! It’s a vacation, really — the perfect place to go that you least expected to find.”
To be called Raise the Roof, the new album was produced by T-Bone Burnett, and features songs by Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, the Everly Brothers, and an original tune from the duo called “High and Lonesome.” They were joined in the studio by guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell, and Buddy Miller, bass players Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, and pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl.
Raise The Roof will be released on November 19th, and is preceded by the duo’s cover of “Can’t Let Go” by Randy Weeks, popularized by Lucinda Williams. The due also plans to tour in 2022.
Plant and Krauss plan on touring in 2022.
Raise the Roof Tracklist:
1. Quattro (World Drifts In)
2. The Price of Love
3. Go Your Way
4. Trouble With My Lover
5. Searching for My Love
6. Can’t Let Go
7. It Don’t Bother Me
8. You Led Me to the Wrong
9. Last Kind Words Blues
10. High and Lonesome
11. Going Where the Lonely Go
12. Somebody Was Watching Over Me