Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Robert Plant Band of Joy released

Band of Joy

Robert Plant

Released: September 14, 2010

Peak: 5 US, 3 UK, 7 CN, 18 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.1 UK

Genre: rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Angel Dance (David Hidalgo, Louie Perez) (8/21/10, 1 AA)
  2. House of Cards (Richard Thompson)
  3. Central Two-O-Nine (Robert Plant, Buddy Miller, Jason Friedman)
  4. Silver Rider (Zachary Micheletti, Mimi Parker, Alan Sparhawk)
  5. You Can’t Buy My Love (Billy Babineaux, Bobby Babineaux) (1/1/11, 13 AA)
  6. Falling in Love Again (Dillard Crume, Andrew Kelly)
  7. The Only Sound That Matters (Gregory Vanderpool)
  8. Monkey (Micheletti, Parker, Sparkhawk)
  9. Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday (traditional, arranged by Plant and Miller)
  10. Harm’s Swift Way (Townes Van Zandt)
  11. Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down (traditional, arranged by Plant and Miller)
  12. Even This Shall Pass Away (Theodore Tilton, arranged by Plant and Miller)

Total Running Time: 47:32


3.477 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

About the Album:

“As long as Robert Plant is alive and murmuring, there will be those who take their Led Zeppelin worship so seriously that they’ll be satisfied with nothing less than a full-blown Zeppelin reunion tour.” PM “Zepheads got so tantalizingly close to that dream fulfillment back in 2007 when the band played the Ahmet Artegun tribute concert…but when it came time to a take it on the road…Plant balked.” PM “Not satisfied with his stature as one of the great innovators and heroes of pop music,” AZ he pursued “his unquenchable thirst for new songs and new sounds,” AZ letting “his curiosity guide him to unexplored territory.” AZ “Regardless of the inevitable disappointment among the Led Zep warriors, Plant’s decision…paid off.” PM He “was able to do a stylistic aboutface and rediscover his first love: American roots music” PM on “2007’s Raising Sand.” PM That “collaboration with Alison Krauss was a triumph on all levels, a critical and award-winning smash that found Plant more inspired as a vocalist than at any point in the last two decades.” PM

The Original Band of Joy and the New Band of Joy
Now “Plant has the mike back all to himself on the new Band of Joy.” PM The original Band of Joy, which featured Plant alongside future Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, was a “Black Country psychedelic folk group of the late ‘60s.” AMG The “revival of its name and spirit in 2010 is of no small significance.” AMG Plant reminds the listener that his foray into American roots music on Raising Sand wasn’t a fluke.

Band of Joy will, without question, go down as a companion piece to Raising Sand, as the two are of a highly similar vintage.” PM “The original Band of Joy was unrecorded outside of a handful of demos, so there is no indication of whether this 2010 incarnation sounds anything at all like the ‘60s band but the communal vibe that pulsates throughout this album hearkens back to the age of hippies as much as it is an outgrowth of Raising Sand.” AMG This album “incorporates an edgier, resonant kind of ambience…[and] a greater ensemble attitude.” BB Plant has a new “more aggressive female vocal foil in Patty Griffin,” BB “but she is, unlike Krauss before her, truly in an auxiliary role. Her presence is definitely felt, but her pristine harmony singing is simply another of the band’s backing instruments.” PM

Buddy Miller As Producer
“Blurred borders are commonplace on Band of Joy, where American and English folk meld, where the secular and sacred walk hand in hand, where the past is not past and the present is not rootless.” AMG “This year has turned out to be the year of dusty revisionist Americana, much of it thanks to the man who produced Raising Sand, T-Bone Burnett, who has made gorgeous throwback records this year with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and others. Band of Joy continues the trend, though Burnett is replaced here by the legendary Buddy Miller, the guitarist from the Raising Sand tour.” PM

“Miller’s encyclopedic knowledge of blues, folk, and gospel – along with his impeccable taste – is key to Band of Joy’s almighty musicality. It’s a collection of covers and traditional songs that, for the most part, you’ve probably never heard, and if you have, Plant and Miller see to it that you’ve never heard them like this. Miller was wise to only invite a handful of people to the party – besides Buddy and Patty, the new ‘Band of Joy’ features only Marco Giovino on drums, bluegrass mainstay Byron House on bass, and multi-instrumentalist genius Darrell Scott on mandos, banjos, and steels.” PM

“Never as austere as the clean, tasteful impressionism of Raising Sand, Band of Joy is bold and messy, teeming with life to its very core.” AMG “The material is…fascinatingly diverse” BB and “it’s as a joyous a record as you’ll ever hear, a testament that the power of music lies not in its writing but in its performance.” AMG “Plant finds fiercely original music within other people’s songs… digging back to find forgotten songs from the heyday of honky tonk and traditional folk tunes not often sung. Some of these songs feel like they’ve been around forever and some feel fresh, but not in conventional ways.” AMG “Much of the wonder of Band of Joy lies in these inventive interpretations but the magic lies in the performances themselves.” AMG “Plant's song selection and incomparable vocals make Band of Joy a new triumph.” AZ “By both reaching back and by yearning for a decorous new future, [this] is an album that matters.” PM

“Angel Dance”
“The new record plunges into the shivering guitar waves and mandolin delirium of the opening Angel DancePM with “the trancey flow of Los Lobos,” BB “it’s clear that this is a ballsier animal [than Raising Sand]. And when Plant fires off some bratty yelps a minute in, it seals the deal. It ain’t Zeppelin, but this sounds sweeter than anything you could’ve expected Plant to cook up at this stage, no matter whom he’s working with.” PM

“House of Cards”
“You can mark how much fun Plant is having on any given project by how many times he improvises ‘well well’ between verses, and on Band of Joy, he’s clearly enjoying himself. ‘Angel Dance’ is preposterously great, and the next tune, Richard Thompson’s House of Cards, borrows Jimmy Page’s ‘Moby Dick’ guitar tone, with a slinky dose of classic-Plant mojo that should light the bong of even the most ardent nostalgia trippers.” PM

“Central Two-O-Nine”
“Plant experiments with a variety of folk exercises, including the only song here credited to Plant/Miller, Central Two-O-Nine, a strummy, bluesy train tune.” AMG It “is a train song so authentic in tone that it almost sounds like a Johnny Cash chestnut.” BB

“Silver Rider” and “Monkey”
“A pair of Low songs – Silver Rider and Monkey – are solidly in the wheelhouse Plant is working here.” BB The former is “the album’s most ethereal song. It’s one that will recall the Plant/ Krauss duets, with Plant at his most ‘What Is and What Should Never Be’ whispery, though by the end of the tune, Miller is piling on a noisy, hypnotic guitar wash.” PM Both that song and “Monkey” “feel like ancient, unearthed backwoods laments.” AMG

“You Can’t Buy My Love”
The “riotous” AMGYou Can’t Buy My Love isn’t McCartney’s; it’s an obscure Barbara Lynn tune, but it sounds ‘64 enough, as the buzzing guitars do the hop with swinging toms while Plant reminds us that he is, after all, a guy who always knew how to shake it one time for Elvis.” PM

“Falling in Love Again”
Falling in Love Againis “another deeply mined find by the Kelly Brothers” PM in which Plant offers a “doo-wop-by-way-of-Nashville treatment.” BB This is Plant at “his most romantic croon, revisiting the sound he last mined this successfully as part of the Honeydrippers back in 1984.” PM

“Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday” and “Harm’s Swift Way”
Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday is a goth-roots standard, arranged here with Scott’s ghostly banjo. Townes Van Zandt’s Harm’s Swift Way is given one of the record’s most straightforward folk-rock arrangements – very Wilbury-esque – and Plant lends these lovely lyrics the warm, cordial lilt they deserve.” PM

“Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” shows up here, too, for you folks whose trajectory took you from Led Zeppelin to Uncle Tupelo. That tune is also on Willie Nelson’s record earlier this year, so the T-Bone Burnett/ Buddy Miller circle of influence is clear. Both Willie’s and Plant’s takes are given the haunted banjo treatment, but Plant’s is spookier, with more weight in the rhythm section.” PM

“Even This Shall Pass Away”
“The record ends with its noisiest tune, a layered, blippy, psychedelic track, Even This Shall Pass Away.” PM It features a “swampy but spare groove that frames the mid-19th-century poem.” BB It “showcases Plant’s best 2010 rock-speak wail; it’s as if to conclude that Plant remains a curious explorer and that each of these trips is worth taking.” PM

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First posted 9/27/2010; last updated 8/17/2021.

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