Thursday, December 4, 2008

Robert Plant to grace two albums set for release in March

Scott Matthews, who supported Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on tour earlier this year, gets a little help from his friend on his upcoming sophomore album. The disc, which is titled Elsewhere, is expected to be released in March and feature one song Matthews had the pleasure of recording with Plant. It is a piece Matthews wrote called "12 Harps."

It is one of two albums to be released in March that feature guest vocals from Plant.

The Galway Advertiser in Ireland last week published a long interview that mentions several things Matthews has in common with Plant. Besides both being singers from the Black Country and fans of the Wolverhampton Wanderers football club, they share some common musical influences.

Both name Jeff Buckley as a powerful and emotional singer, and Matthews's voice has been compared to the late singer's.

As attributed to Matthews in the Galway Advertiser:
"My dad's record collection had a lot of 1960s classics and my mum liked Motown. ... There was always good music in the house. I got into the guitar and discovered Led Zeppelin. I was really into their acoustic stuff like Led Zeppelin III. I got a lot of inspiration from that and the kind of ethnic stuff they did as well.

"I have some issues with my vocals. ... Maybe it's a little insecurity on my part but a lot of people tell me that my voice suits the kind of music I do. Robert Plant himself said that was one of the things he noticed and that he really liked my voice. That was such a good thing to hear and a real boost to my confidence.

"I got to know him before recording the second album and I had a song in mind for him called '12 Harps.' It has leanings towards acoustic Led Zeppelin with mandolins. For me to be singing in the same room with Robert Plant - I was so scared. With [Jimmy] Page, [John Paul] Jones, and [John] Bonham behind him, what he did with his voice back then in Zeppelin is pretty untouchable. The sheer range and dynamic he’s got. He’s 60 now and his voice is more mature and has a real resonance in it. It's one of the stand out tracks on the album!"
Starting tonight, Matthews plays three consecutive nights throughout Ireland, and he says he hopes to play a lot of his new material. He is booked to play at Dolans in Limerick tonight, at Roisin Dubh in Galway tomorrow, at the Spirit Store in Louth on Dec. 6, and at Auntie Annie's in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Dec. 8.

The other track Plant has recorded for another album set to drop in March is called "What You Gonna Do, Leroy." It will be included on Buddy and Julie Miller's Written in Chalk, due March 3 on New West Records.

The track is described in a Dec. 2 press release as "a swampy stomp written by Mel Tillis and originally performed by Lefty Frizzell."

Plant joined Miller onstage on Sept. 18 for a live performance of that song.

This year, Buddy Miller played guitar and pedal steel backing Plant and Alison Krauss on their Raising Sand tour. While Plant and Krauss earned Americana awards in September for Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year, Miller earned his own Americana award for Instrumentalist of the Year.

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