Monday, January 4, 2010

Daniel Lanois widens his circle of friends; Alison Krauss records in L.A. studio with producer recently linked to Robert Plant

Session drummer Steven Nistor, who's long been affiliated with reknowned U2 producer Daniel Lanois, says he's just been in a Los Angeles recording studio with Lanois and a certain famous singer.

In case you missed it last year when reported that Nistor had taken part in a session pairing Lanois and Robert Plant, get a load of this.

Now the Lanois camp has been recording with Plant's recent singing counterpart, Alison Krauss. In a post dated Dec. 10, this is what Nistor reveals has been happening in his world.

In recalling some of the events that had taken place since his last post at the end of October, Nistor mentioned coming from a studio with Steve Albini and heading back to Los Angeles, where he recorded with Lanois and Krauss.

This time, there was no mention of Plant.

Recall that in Nistor's post on Oct. 30, he revealed that he'd been in the studio with Lanois for projects with Plant and singer Trixie Whitley.

On Whitley's Facebook page was confirmation that she's "recorded and/or played with" Plant.

Then, on the Myspace page of engineer Mark Howard, up popped some pictures from the session proving Robert had been there (although he was not seen with Whitley).

Now, Howard comes through once again with a new set of pictures on his Myspace page, showing Krauss this time with some of the familiar Lanois crew. No Plant sightings there, however.

Based on the timeline given in Nistor's account and the date when these photos were posted, the sessions must have taken place during the first week of December.

How does this revelation fit into a possible scenario for the long-rumored follow-up album to Raising Sand, which was said to be in pre-production in January 2009?

One thought is that producer T Bone Burnett is "Gone Gone Gone" from the project, and Plant and Krauss are pursuing a new direction with Lanois -- or at least testing the waters with some demos.

If that is correct, then it's interesting the recording of Plant and Krauss seems to be handled separately. To those who might suggest they're phoning it in, or that it's obvious the singers can't stand to be in the same room as each other, that's not necessarily so. There were a few songs on Raising Sand that mainly featured only one of the two singers. It may have just worked out logistically that they are recording at different times.

Of course, one would be correct to point out that given the little information available at present, it's not even certain that Plant and Krauss have anything to do with each other at the moment. They could both, for separate reasons, be recording with Lanois. But we know better than to believe that's the case.

A few people do know what's happening, and whatever's going on now isn't being shared with the rest of the world at the moment. All will be revealed -- one of these days, and it won't be long.

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