This "making of" video with Plant, Krauss and Burnettlets us glimpse the chemistry between the three musicians that madethis recording so magical. No word yet on a tour,but if Plant and Krauss come to town, I’ll be there.
Robert Plant and Alison Krausswill be featured guests on NPR’s World CaféLive on Nov.
It kept me real busy setting up mics and moving them around and getting new sounds. He tends to play really quietly like T Bone likes him to do, so just the mic on the tom, for example, will be picking up a lot of room because he's playing soft, and we just crank that up and pump it. I didn't really have to do any tricks on this music.
It was really a matter of capturing what these guys are doing and presenting it in the best light.”The crowd at Sound Emporium (L-R): drummer Jay Bellerose, banjo player Riley Baugus, Alison Krauss, guitarist Norman Blake, Robert Plant, guitarist Marc Ribot; producer T Bone Burnett, engineer Mike Piersante and bassist Dennis Crouch Photo: Callie Khouri Typical of Burnett's style, he was looking for a certain spontaneity in the performances, so none of the songs were rehearsed much before the two weeks of tracking in Nashville.
For preamps, I had Neve 1073s and some 1081s.”Piersante used a fairly straight setup on the band from song to song, “but [drummer] Jay Bellerose did a lot of reconfiguring between songs.
He was definitely setting up things for each particular song, which was really great.
Guitars float in seas of tremolo and reverb, drums whisper the beat, the standup bass thwacks with swinging authority and the vocals gracefully intermingle within the spare soundscape.
From the rubbery rockabilly drive of the Everlys' “Gone Gone Gone,” to the scrumptious harmonies of “Killing the Blues,” to timeless folk of “Your Long Journey,” this CD covers a lot of stylistic ground, but always retains its own characteristic sound.
In fact, the Cold Mountain soundtrack, to which she contributed, is on my i Pod. As a result, I once had a shuffle modemoment in which "Stairway to Heaven" followed "You Will Be My Ain True Love." It wasn’t exactly a natural progression. The two voices come together in a way I didn’t expect— the sound is neither bluegrass nor rock and roll, but you can hearthe influence of both.
So when I heard that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss had made an album together, I thought it was a joke. The songs are familiar — covers of Tom Waits,the Everly Brothers, Sam Phillips and more, includingone by Jimmy Page/Robert Plant.
Of course, when she mentioned it, I promptly said, "I love bluegrass!