Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Make Beautiful Music Together: More than a few eyebrows were raised when Led Zeppelin man Robert Plant joined forces with bluegrass queen Alison Krauss for the Raising Sand album in 2007. Bluegrass fans, not known for their love of electric instrumentation, were nonplussed by Plant. Many old rockers had never even heard of Krauss. On the surface, it was an odd pairing. But how wrong the naysayers were.
Raising Sand was and is a wonderful piece of work. The pair’s voices blend seamlessly together, creating the most hauntingly beautiful effect. The follow-up, Raise the Roof, was finally released last year and much like the first time we got a collection of eclectic, well-chosen covers that suit their voices perfectly.
Naturally, the duo performed a selection of songs from the two albums with a few Led Zep tunes slid in at the Greek Theatre show on Thursday. Opener “Rich Woman” was the first song on the first album, and that was followed by “Quattro,” the first song on the new album.
The stage set up was simple and elegant. Drapes and lights, instruments and mics. Looks a bit like a ’20s club, with the two singers front and center. When they kick into a rearranged but still very lively rendition of Zep’s “Rock and Roll,” they were greeted with wild cheers. The same things happened later for “The Battle of Evermore” and “When the Levee Breaks.” People will always love that band.
But Krauss’ voice is staggeringly gorgeous, and the moments when she takes the lead are the real highlights. She’s also a talented fiddle player and it’s a gift to hear those skills live.
Ultimately, this show at the Greek was further proof that the Plant/Krauss experiment is a massive success and we hope that there will be a third album down the line. In the meantime, Krauss has a huge back catalog that those new to her need to dive into.
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