Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Robert Plant resumes tour with Alison Krauss

Nine more concerts remain on the shared touring itinerary of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The first takes place tonight at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, with the final scheduled appearance two weekends away.

The Raising Sand 2008 tour began in April and included Krauss's first tour dates outside North America. The band traveled to perform in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe as well as throughout the United States and a few selected cities in Canada.

On their album Raising Sand, released last October and produced by T Bone Burnett, the two singers harmonize and take turns on lead vocals, all the while delving into an array of cover songs rich in Americana and styles of music altogether previously unexplored by the Led Zeppelin singer. Many of the studio musicians, already rich in their own musicianship, reprise their roles onstage this year and reliably provided the kind of support required to adapt to Plant's vocal improvisations on Led Zeppelin numbers and other songs he essentially made his own.

Plant returned to England during his time off to accept an award in London on Sept. 2 alongside his Led Zeppelin bandmates, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. As this appearance narrowly followed Jason Bonham's revelation that he had been rehearsing new material with Page and Jones, Plant's presence sparked a bit of hope that the bandmates would once again reunite just as they had for a one-off show last December. So far this month, Plant's only publicly disclosed comment on the prospect of any further Led Zeppelin reunion was a comment to GQ magazine that he would inevitably be required to sign a great deal of paperwork.

But on Sept. 9, Alison Krauss was at Plant's side when they attended the London ceremony for the Nationwide Mercury Prize. Their album, Raising Sand, had made it to the shortlist of 12 of the best albums of the past year. Elbow's new album won the prize.


Plant was back in the United States by Sept. 17, when he and Krauss met up again in Nashville to pay tribute to Levon Helm of The Band. The all-star concert was affiliated the the Americana Music Association, which gave its top honors to Plant and Krauss the following night at an awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium. Sept. 18 also saw Plant join touring partner Buddy Miller onstage for a rendition of a song CMT says will be included on Miller's upcoming album.

The nine remaining Plant-Krauss concerts, beginning tonight, are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 23 -- Kansas City, Mo. -- Starlight Theatre
  • Wednesday, Sept. 24 -- St. Louis, Mo. -- Fox Theatre
  • Friday, Sept. 26 -- Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, Okla. (recently announced; this concert replaces one originally scheduled on this date at Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, which was canceled due to damages from Hurricane Ike)
  • Saturday, Sept. 27 -- Austin, Texas -- Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park
  • Tuesday, Sept. 30 -- Portland, Ore. -- Theatre of the Clouds
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1 -- Seattle, Wash. -- WaMu Theater
  • Friday, Oct. 3 -- San Francisco, Calif. -- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest
  • Saturday, Oct. 4 -- Kelseyville, Calif. -- Konocti Field Amphitheatre
  • Sunday, Oct. 5 -- Saratoga, Calif. -- The Mountain Winery

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