Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Talk Reuniting for Their New Album

“Let’s catch the hearth and see what we’ve acquired,” Robert Plant mentioned about why he and Alison Krauss went again into the studio to report their new album, Elevate the Roof, the follow-up to 2007’s six-time Grammy-winning album Elevating Sand. With their mixed abilities and various tastes, the cliché concerning the odd coupling of bluegrass princess Krauss and rock god Plant doesn’t apply. Together with their first album and tour, this reunion, recorded previous to the pandemic (with a 2022 tour to comply with), is a sworn statement to their mutual respect for a large spectrum of music—nation, soul, people, and blues. Their collaboration was, as soon as once more, produced by T Bone Burnett, who performed guitar, contributed music concepts, and assembled the musicians. Right here, in two separate telephone calls carried out by Lisa Robinson—Plant from England and Krauss from Nashville—they discuss their love of conventional American music and their work with, and admiration for, one another.

Images by Mark Seliger. Styled by Tiffany Gifford

Lisa Robinson: Particularly after your large success with Elevating Sand, why did it take 14 years so that you can work collectively once more?

Robert Plant: You are likely to get preoccupied with the forces of the second. I hold touchdown in all types of various locations, and I by no means take into consideration continuity on any stage—though I like adventures. As you would possibly bear in mind, my head is kind of simply turned, and if I get a suggestion to do one thing just a little left of heart, I’m gone.

Alison Krauss: We by no means actually stopped speaking about it. I used to listen to Lucinda Williams [who sings backing vocals on the album] sing “Can’t Let Go” for years, and I assumed it might be a lot enjoyable to do it with Robert. I’d ship him songs and he’d ship me songs again. We each did different issues, however this was the right time.

Plant: Alison and I had each been on the street with tasks that at the least quickly have been coming to a finale. The door opened, so I simply acquired on a airplane and made my solution to Alison’s entrance door once more. And T Bone was thrilled—the vitality was simply rising.

Krauss: We didn’t need it to be a continuation; we needed this album to have its personal identification, and it does. Via the years we thought, wouldn’t this be good, wouldn’t this be good, then when it’s time, when issues are impressed, every little thing comes collectively actual fast.

The 2 of you began working collectively in 2004 whenever you carried out collectively at Robert’s request in Cleveland at a Lead Stomach tribute live performance. Why do you assume the mix of the 2 of you works so effectively?

Plant: The beauty of us working collectively was, is, and stays the keenness and the diligence about it. Although a few of these songs are popping out of the ark, they’re evocative and fairly magical—by no means thoughts how they’re translated. It shouldn’t have labored, nevertheless it did.

Krauss: The primary dialog I ever had with Robert was about [the late banjo legend] Ralph Stanley. When individuals requested me about Robert and I instructed them that, they mentioned, “No means.” Bluegrass of us thought that was so superb, and I had no thought he knew about any of that.

Plant: I do know my means across the Delta fairly effectively, and I nonetheless love listening to these information from the Thirties—King Solomon Hill, early Lemon Jefferson stuff. I imply I’m British, however one thing will need to have occurred alongside the road; perhaps my mom performed some bizarre shit earlier than I used to be born. Give it some thought, you and I’ve recognized one another a very long time, and I assumed I knew America—I used to be steeped in Skip James and Bukka White, however I by no means actually knew America till I labored with Individuals.

Krauss: My expertise of working with Robert was that he was such a beneficiant character. When anybody would ask, I might say you’d love him, and he’d love you. He’s a scholar of all types of music. You gained’t discover anybody extra respectful of different individuals’s expertise and experience in a sure style. He’d say take heed to this, watch this…like Egyptian music or African music—simply such a love of historical past. When he was dwelling in Texas, he was studying concerning the historical past of the land; he was fascinated by the music that got here from there.

Plant: I really feel like a sort of overactive and overly chronologically gifted scholar. I’m all the time involved in what’s going to occur across the nook. After Elevating Sand, I went on my means and performed with Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin, they usually have been terribly gifted individuals who knew songs and artists I by no means knew, so I used to be very fortunate. Then I noticed Alison, we have been each enjoying on a present with Willie Nelson—I feel in Oklahoma—and I used to be actually having fun with listening to her sing in her loquacious, stunning type. We simply led in direction of one another once more. | Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Speak Reuniting for Their New Album


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