Raising Sand - A Must Listen Project
I've never written a review for or plugged a music release on my site before, but I'm so wildly captivate by the new
I always thought it weird that the blues revival that was hard rock in the late 60's and early 70's was led by a bunch of white boys from England. That scrawny, leonine kid from the north country who loved Muddy Waters and could add a shrill bit of white soul to the Gallows Pole as the front man for Led Zeppelin was and is an oddity, and is (for better or worse) a part of my musical foundation. Teaming Plant, known for his screaching, with the ethereal angel of bluegrass was a daring move. Or was it? In fact, its this part of the hype around the project that drives me nuts. I don't think for a minute that these two didn't know that they would be great together. They'd done a tune for a tribute to Leadbelly sometime back, and it clicked. But for a whole alubm, hard part was finding the right tunes. Enter the musical genius that is T-Bone Burnett. Ever since seeing Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, for which Burnett produced the soundtrack, T-Bone's been something of my musical guide for roots music. American roots music is Plant's passion, and Kraus' metier.
The album's songs were selected (and produced) by Burnett with input from Plant and Krauss. Burnett put together the musicians (including himself on guitar) that present a haunting and rich sound, providing a diverse mix of blues, country, folk and roots rock songs from a wide range of writers, including: Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Phil and Don Everly, Little Milton Campbell, Mel Tillis and Sam Phillips. Hell, the band deserves mention, too, becuase they are a Who's Who of bluegrass/blues/roots musicians: Marc Ribot, Norman Blake, Mike Seeger, Jay Bellerose, and Dennis Crouch (Norman Blake was the first bluegrass artist I was really aware of). This album really isn't a duet album...T-Bone is more than producer and musician, but third man. And, in truth, I'm not tickeled by the couple of solo songs on this album.
I cannot stop listening to this album. Rich Woman is irresistable, Killing Blues haunting, and Gone, gone, gone and inffectious Everley Brothers romp. Dig it.