I have to say that this Robert Plant & Alison Krauss pairing for Raising Sand, was as much a surprise to me as anyone else. However, the real shock is how damn great this album is, and i’m certainly not alone in my adoration. This is a side of Plant that I never expected, and although “Ship Of Fools” is a guilty pleasure of mine, i’ll go ahead and say that Robert Plant hasn’t been captured in such excellence since his Zeppelin days. Raising Sand shows off a gentler side of Plant who comes together with Alison Krauss on a collection of somewhat obscure covers by Townes Van Zandt, Milt Campbell, Tom Waits, the Everly Brothers, Sam Phillips, and Rosa Lee Watson. Covering the gamut from gospel, r & b, to rootsy country, the album includes the spare, but incredibly atmospheric production of T. Bone Burnett who gives Raising Sand a feel not unlike something Daniel Lanois might have come up with. Laid back beautiful harmonies from Krauss and Plant fill out this great collection of songs that have an ethereal character which penetrates the soul. While, you’ll want to take Raising Sand as a whole, there are many standouts including Gene Clark’s slow burning country number “Through The Morning, Through The Light,” and the Plant penned “Please Read The Letter” is quite serene and shining as well. This is one of those records that you can be sure you won’t have to put away with your other flavor of the month choices.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss