Robert Plant and Alison Krauss “always wanted” to record a second album together, Plant said in a recent BBC radio interview.
“We’d always wanted to do this and when the previous project came to fruition, she went off in one direction and I stayed in America and formed the group called The Band of Joy and I went off on the road again. I love playing. As long as it’s good fun, there’s no better place to be,” Plant told BBC Radio 2.
“So we both did individual stuff and we’d meet now and again or speak on the telephone about ‘how about this?’ or ‘have you heard this song?’ And because we’d come from different areas of music, our appreciation of different parts of the musical spectrum are radically different so it’s always a learning curve discussing stuff with her,” Plant told the Steve Wright in the Afternoon show which was broadcast on August 13.
“But we never, ever had the time,” he added. “I was really happy doing what I was doing and she too. And then we met when we were all still furiously working and we ended up on a show with Willie Nelson in America: My band, the Space Shifters, and her band and Willie. And I was just listening to her singing and I thought ‘man, there’s got to be room. Now, let’s do it.’”
“And I went off to Nashville and renewed all my old acquaintances out there: T-Bone Burnett, a great producer, great studio, Sound Emporium. And all the musicians that came along, it’s just like a kind of fraternity of crazy players.”
Plant was asked which genre “Raise the Roof,” his new album with Krauss, is. “The wonderful thing about it is it’s nameless and I think it has its own personality,” he replied. “You could say it’s kind of a little bit retro sounding. I mean, particularly the track that you’re playing [Can’t Let Go], that definitely sounds like a rockabilly track. So it’s almost like a kind of archival study of pretty far out, spacey music. I think you can call it dark and spacey.”
Plant was also asked if he had always wanted to explore country music. “No. If you think about it as British people: What we thought of country was, I suppose Jim Reeves, Tammy Wynette. We’d hear these songs that came through and they were major pop hits. But [we] had no real idea, even in all the years in Led Zep travelling through America, you have so many different radio stations that you could actually avoid country music completely and stick with rhythm and blues and Mississippi stuff,” he said.
“So I didn’t really know too much about it until I got invited to do this programme called Crossroads which was a VH1 production where they put people of absolutely ridiculously no connection, put them together and see what they do. That was the inspiration to hook up with Alison.”
“Raise the Roof,” the pair’s new album, will be released on November 19. The tracklist is almost all cover versions, although “High and Lonesome” is an original song co-written by Plant and producer T-Bone Burnett.
The first single from the album, “Can’t Let Go,” is now available to stream:
Plant and Krauss are planning a tour in 2022 to promote the album, according to a press release published on August 12.
The album will be released digitally as well as on CD and vinyl. It will be available on a standard CD as well as a deluxe hardback version with two bonus tracks. There’s also a Target exclusive CD featuring alternative art and the two bonus tracks. Qobuz is selling a high definition digital version of the album which will include the two bonus tracks.
There will also be a range of vinyl releases which we have detailed below:
- Standard black 180g vinyl version
- Limited edition 140g “coke bottle green” vinyl version with alternative cover art
- Indie store exclusive black vinyl version with alternative red cover art
- Barnes and Noble exclusive transparent blue vinyl version
- Amazon exclusive clear red 140g vinyl version
- VMP exclusive translucent red 180g vinyl version limited to 1,500 copies worldwide
- Target exclusive black vinyl version with two bonus tracks and alternative cover art
- Transparent yellow vinyl version limited to 1,500 copies worldwide with alternative cover art
- “Coke bottle clear” vinyl version limited to 1,500 copies worldwide
The album sees Plant and Krauss accompanied by drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell, and Buddy Miller, bassists Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, along with pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl among others.
Lucinda Williams contributes backing vocals on “Can’t Let Go,” a cover of her own recording. Williams told Uncut Magazine last year that she had been recording with Plant and Krauss.
Here’s the tracklist for the new album:
- Quattro (World Drifts In) (4:35)
- The Price of Love (4:50)
- Go Your Way (5:07)
- Trouble With My Lover (4:03)
- Searching for My Love (4:03)
- Can’t Let Go (3:41)
- It Don’t Bother Me (5:06)
- You Led Me to the Wrong (4:17)
- Last Kind Words Blues (4:06)
- High and Lonesome (4:33)
- Going Where the Lonely Go (4:10)
- Somebody Was Watching Over Me (5:03)
- My Heart Would Know (2:59) (Deluxe CD and Target exclusive vinyl bonus track)
- You Can’t Rule Me (4:44) (Deluxe CD and Target exclusive vinyl bonus track)