Robert Plant & Band of Joy, Bettye LaVette
Robert Plant raised a lot more than sand on that 2007 album with Alison Krauss, one of the very few Americana albums to go platinum since O Brother, Where Art Thou? He also raised five Grammys in February 2009 — Raising Sand was released too late to make the '08 awards — and resurrected a solo career that had been overshadowed by a levee-breaking flood of new/reissued Led Zeppelin product and that group's November 2007 reunion concert at London's O3 Arena. Not surprisingly, Plant has decided to extend his rootsy honeymoon with both a new group and album named after his and John Bonham's pre-Zep rockers, Band of Joy. Before the album's scheduled September release, Plant and friends are road-testing the songs – such as hillbilly-gospel standard "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down," Los Lobos's "Angel Band" and two from Minneapolis slowcore trio Low's 2005 LP, The Great Destroyer — with a couple of key substitutions: A-list Nashville utility-man Buddy Miller in for Sand/O Brother's T-Bone Burnett as producer and bandleader, and flaming-red Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, who released the righteous Downtown Church earlier this year, as Plant's main female foil. Opening is Bettye LaVette, the Detroit-raised powerhouse '60s soul singer who knows a thing or two about comebacks — the one she started on 2003's A Woman Like Me is still going strong on her brand-new collection of vintage UK redos (Beatles, Stones, Who, Floyd, Zeppelin) Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.
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