Monday, October 29, 2012

raising sand

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss found unlikely success with this mesmerizing and eclectic melding of folk, blues, rockabilly, bluegrass, country, and rock. 'Raising Sand' was produced by T-Bone Burnett with sessions that took place at Sound Emporium in Nashville, Tennessee; Electro Magnetic Studios and The Village Recorder in Los Angeles; and Sage & Sound in Hollywood. The album features Robert Plant on vocals and Alison Krauss on vocals and fiddle; with Riley Baugus on banjo; Jay Bellerose on drums; Norman Blake on acoustic guitar; T-Bone Burnett on acoustic, electric, and six-string bass guitar; Dennis Crouch on acoustic bass; Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar; Marc Ribot on acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro, and electric guitar; Mike Seeger on autoharp; and Patrick Warren on keyboards, pump organ, and toy piano.

The collaboration between the rock icon and country star seemed strange to many. Krauss remembers:   “When I first met him, at a Leadbelly tribute, I saw that big hairdo, I said 'Robert,’ he turns around, he’s got these glasses on, and he goes 'There you are.’ And the first thing he starts talking about is Ralph Stanley. He’s very passionate about music. We were riding around making the record and he goes, 'Do you think something’s wrong with me? My kids say, 'We want a real dad, can’t you be a normal dad?’ and I’m like, 'They’re going to be waiting a long time.’ He’s like 'Listen to this, this Egyptian singer, can you believe it, blaaaah…’ Just crazy.That’s a really infectious, wonderful thing to be around.”

'Raising Sand' went to number forty-five in Australia; thirty-three in Switzerland; twenty-six in Germany; five in Canada; three on Australia's country chart; two in Sweden, the UK, the US, and the US country chart; and number one in Norway and on the US rock album chart. In the US, it made its debut at number two. 'Raising Sand' went on to win Grammy awards for all of the catagories for which it was nominated: Album of the Year; Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album; Record of the Year (for "Please Read the Letter"); Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (for "Rich Woman"); and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (for "Killing the Blues").   Plant admits:   "With all small pools of beautiful music, there is a sort of sacrosanct, almost hallowed, area, of where the audience and musician become one in this closely guarded secret. It’s bullshit, absolute bullshit. Music is for every single person that walks the planet. In the end, if it gets you, it gets you. So terminology, terms, parentheses, I think that they’re irrelevant. I think what happened was Alison and I made some great records with a producer who was right on the top of his gig, and some great people were playing around him. And the songs were chosen really, really well. I wanted to bring in some smoky sort of stuff I thought I could never get at with anybody else. But I think the great thing is that there’s a promising and more and more progressive marriage between artists under a flag like that."

'Raising Sand' 
full album:

1. "Rich Woman" Dorothy LaBostrie, McKinley Millet 4:04
2. "Killing the Blues" Roly Jon Salley 4:16
3. "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" Sam Phillips 3:26
4. "Polly Come Home" Gene Clark 5:36
5. "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" The Everly Brothers 3:33
6. "Through the Morning, Through the Night" Gene Clark 4:01
7. "Please Read the Letter" Charlie Jones, Michael Lee, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant 5:53
8. "Trampled Rose" Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits 5:34
9. "Fortune Teller" Allen Toussaint 4:30
10. "Stick With Me Baby" Mel Tillis 2:50
11. "Nothin'" Townes Van Zandt 5:33
12. "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson" Milton Campbell 4:02
13. "Your Long Journey" Doc Watson, Rosa Lee Watson 3:55


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