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Band of Joy

Robert Plant

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Album Review

Band of Joy was the name of Robert Plant’s Black Country psychedelic folk group of the late ‘60s and his revival of its name and spirit in 2010 is of no small significance. Certainly, it’s an explicit suggestion that Plant is getting back to his roots, which is true to an extent: 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, Plant’s striking duet album with Alison Krauss. Such 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. Assisted by co-producer Buddy Miller and a band of roots iconoclasts highlighted by harmonist Patty Griffin, Plant finds fiercely original music within other people’s songs, nabbing two songs from slow-core stalwarts Low, cherry-picking relative obscurities from Richard & Linda Thompson and Los Lobos, 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: Low’s “Silver Rider” and “Monkey” feel like ancient, unearthed backwoods laments and the riotous “You Can’t Buy My Love” feels as if it was written yesterday. Much of the wonder of Band of Joy lies in these inventive interpretations but the magic lies in the performances themselves. 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. 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.

Customer Reviews

What?!

How is there only a few reviews on Robert Plants album? It's not like he's unheard of. Well, I like the direction Plant is taking, it's roots music and his voice is being used in a different light than our beloved Zeppelin screech, and the thing about it is: sure his voice has changed, but unlike Daltry, he decided to work with it instead of trying to cull the embodiment of his youthful voice. Plant pulls it off with some style points, and I can appreciate that there's still artists out there who are showing the rest of us how it's done. You may not think every track is a killer, but theres enough going for it to be more than noteworthy.

BAnd of Joy

I just have to download this after seeing the concert on DirecTV. I'm looking and looking and finally realize that the guy playing ALL kinds of instruments is Darryl Scott. Awesome player and songwriter. Enjoy!

ode to joy

I am a huge Patti Griffin fan. She is the reason I checked this out. I was in awe! Their voices sound great together and I love the diversity of the album. The instrumentation is fantastic. I am looking forward to more from this band and duet.

Biography

Born: August 20, 1948 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In 1968, a naïve young singer from the Black Country hills in England named Robert Plant was discovered wailing the blues by veteran session guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones. When Plant recommended his friend John Bonham as the drummer, one of the most successful bands in rock history was born as Led Zeppelin. But the group that started with such force also ended in flames after 12 years, as Bonham's death from alcohol poisoning in 1980 split the band after nine albums....
Full Bio

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