“Band of Joy” is the latest album from legendary Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant. It is his first album since 2007’s multi-Grammy Award winning “Raising Sand” collaboration with Alison Krauss.
Gone and Replaced
Gone from the last project are Alison Krauss and T-Bone Burnett. The rest of the band is gone from “Raising Sand” as well. One can not simply replace the genius of T-Bone Burnett or replace the unmistakable vocals of Alison Krauss. However, Robert Plant has produced several albums himself. Buddy Miller also co-produces “Band of Joy.” Buddy Miller who toured on the “Raising Sand Tour” brings his superb guitar playing and production skills to the project. Bryon House and Marco Giovino hold down the rhythm section on bass and drums respectfully. Darrel Scott adds his guitar and mandolin skills to the project. Robert Plant continues with fine female singers as Patty Griffin joins on vocals. The genius is to match up the chemistry between Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin to back Robert Plant.
The Song List
1) Angel Dance
2) House of Cards
3) Central Two-O-Nine
4) Silver Rider
5) You Can’t Buy My Love
6) Falling in Love Again
7) The Only Sound That Matters
9) Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday
10) Harm’s Swift Way
11) Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
12) Even This Shall Pass Away
Volume Two of Robert Plant’s Collection of American Music travels farther than “Raising Sand.” Band of Joy opens with a version of Los Lobos “Angel Dance” which is sang in such a manner it could fit in well with any of Robert Plant’s other solo songs. The Richard Thompson cover “House of Cards” is the first to feature the backing vocals of Patty Griffin. “Central Two-O-Nine” is a Robert Plant, Buddy Miller arrangement which is the bluest song on the album. “Silver Rider” is a cover of a Low cover. The song is highlighted by Patty Griffin’s harmonized vocals. They cover Low again on track eight with “Monkey.” “You Can’t Buy My Love” is a cover of a 1965 song performed by Barbara Lynn. Plant’s version does justice as it does transport the listener to the mid 1960s. It stays in that era with the Kelly Brothers “Falling In Love Again.” Then the album travels to the present with Milton Mapes “The Only Sound That Matters.” A traditional version of “Cindy, I’ll Mary You Some Day” brings the album back to Americana music. Plant also covers Townes Van Zandt with “Harms’s Swift way.” Townes Van Zandt was the only artist covered both on “Raising Sand” and “Band of Joy.” The Van Zandt number is followed by “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” another traditional song. The album ends with song arranged around a Theodore Tilton poem. The song sounds like it could have been a leftover from his Strange Sensation days.
The album is solid as one would expect with the A-list musicians. As an album it flows very well. However, the album does not have the song strength as “Raising Sand.” The album won’t have the strength of the singles. However, the album is a joy to listen too.It is an album packed with an hour of some of the greatest music performed by some of the most talented musicians.
Album and liner notes