This month Robert Plant releases his ninth solo album, Band Of Joy. The title taken from the name of a group he was in with John Bonham before both joined John Paul Jones & Jimmy Pages to tour the USA as the New Yardbirds, subsequently renaming the band Led Zeppelin. The rest is history!
Led Zeppelin became the biggest rock, loudest, heaviest heavy rock group in the world and Robert Plant had a voice to match. The band continued their phenomenal global success until the untimely death of John Bonham in 1980. Since then Robert Plant has refused to tour as Led Zeppelin and only played a handful of one-off gigs for charity and friends. Instead he has continued to broaden his music horizons releasing both solo albums and collaborating with artists from many music genres.
In 1994 he recorded and toured the critically-acclaimed No Quarter with Jimmy Page. The album was mainly acoustic and influenced by folk rather than blues rock, and included a great version of Led Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole.
In 2007 Robert Plant collaborated with bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss to release the Grammy Award-winning Raising Sands, bizarrely voted Best Album of 2009.
On his official Robert Plant website, he explains why he named the latest album after one of his first groups:
“In the Band of Joy, when I was seventeen, I was playing everybody else’s stuff and moving it around, and it’s kind of…time to reinvoke that attitude and sentiment.”
Band Of Joy is similar in parts to the acoustic-led No Quarter and sees Robert Plant return to his musical roots. Accompanied by guitars both acoustic and electric, as well as mandolin and banjo, the Band Of Joy themselves produce a perfect traditional, organic folk music; and the steel-guitar on tracks like Harm Swift Way & Falling In Love Again give the album an authentic country ingredient.
But the album twists and turns from folk and country-inspired blues to the dark & moody Monkey, with its controlled feedback and distorted electric guitar, reminiscent of Bauhaus and guitarist Daniel Ash; and then there’s Silver Rider with its verses like a calm ocean before a distorted guitar comes crashing like stormy waves on jagged rocks.
Praise must be given to Robert Plant as he still looks to widen his musical output rather than succumb to reforming Led Zeppelin and playing for easy money.
Robert Plant – Band Of Joy Track listing:
1. Angel Dance
2. House of Cards
3. Central Two-0-Nine
4. Silver Rider
5. You Can’t Buy My Love
6. Falling In Love Again
7. The Only Sound That Matters
9. Cindy, I’ll Marry You Someday
10. Harm’s Swift Way
11. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
12. Even This Shall Pass Away
Robert Plant European Tour 2010
In October Robert Plant and his Band Of Joy embark on an eleven date tour of Europe.
Robert Plant European Tour dates include UK concerts in Edinburgh, Gateshead, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester & Belfast.
Annext, Stockholm, Sweden
Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
Edinburgh, Usher Hall
Gateshead, The Sage
Liverpool, The Olympia
Paris– Palais De Sports, France
St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Palace Theatre, Manchester
Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
Waterfront Hall, Belfast
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