Thursday, November 15, 2007

Robert Plant, Alison Krauss promote album on PBS

Led Zeppelin's upcoming reunion concert never factored into the discussion with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and T-Bone Burnett on yesterday's "Charlie Rose."

The 26-minute conversation, which aired yesterday on PBS television and is shown below, centers entirely on the ideas behind the album Raising Sand and Burnett's involvement as producer.

The singers detailed who was responsible for picking each of the songs on their album and what their initial thoughts were when they approached them.

"I went in deliberately trying to keep any preconceived idea out, and we recorded in a much different way than I am used to recording," explained Krauss. "The group that I've played with for the last number of years [Union Station] -- we're very planned out when we go in, very specific. Many times, [we] have the sequence of tunes already known when we go in. You know, we've worked what the sequence of the record was gonna be. And I really felt like my role in this, besides coming to sing, was to really be open and to support T-Bone's ideas, no matter how vague it was to me."

In one point that matches up with a statement of Plant's in the November issue of Uncut, Krauss said Burnett sent the singers communications with very detailed and persuasive descriptions of the songs he had picked out. "Wow, we were blown away by the material," she continued. "You know, these were the original artists singing all this, and he has a description of everything, and it's very deliberate. And then you get in the studio, and it's sort of opposite. It's very natural, and he wants everybody to do what they would naturally do. And he kind of sits in the background and kind of herds everybody ever so slightly, enough where Robert and I are, 'What's he doing in there?' 'I don't know what he's doing in there!'"

Plant recounted what it was like arriving at her house in Nashville, to be greeted there for the first time by the hulking T-Bone Burnett. "And he's bigger than me too!" said Plant.

Krauss also recounted an anecdote she's previously stated in interviews, about receiving a phone call from Plant and purposely sounding very restrained -- only because she didn't want to wake her baby.

As far as their future touring plans, Plant discussed the idea of a revue. "I don't sing all the time, and neither does Alison, so it's good that way because you can leave the stage, somebody else can -- the spotlight definitely moves," he said.

"An evening with us should be something really, really special. It should be supported by other artists. It should be, I think -- it could be quite an interesting little adventure, you know."

Update: This interview can now be purchased on DVD.

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