Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wall Street Journal tracks Robert Plant's progress with Band of Joy

By Brian Gardiner
"The concerts are an eclectic mix pulled together by the charm and force of Mr. Plant's personality, the wonder of his voice and his spirited band ..."
One of the better stories and interviews I've seen with Robert Plant landed today in the Wall Street Journal. Heading into New York for two shows this weekend, Plant talked to the newspaper's Jim Fusilli about the progress of his Band of Joy.

Photo by Wyatt Brake
Recordings of the first Band of Joy show in Memphis immediately hit the Internet last July. Listening to it, I thought, Not for me. But by December, when I watched part of the BBC Electric Proms broadcast, it was clear either the show was much better or I had acclimatized to what Plant was doing.

It turns out the shows were better. Says Plant:
"I think we were masking a whole lot of nerves. It was great, though. It started becoming a bit more mysterious on the second and third nights."
The "project," as Plant refers to it, is ever evolving. During soundcheck the band sits in a circle and toys with arrangements. It's all part of the "workshop feel" of the American music scene at present, says Plant. Making the obvious reference that many reviewers -- including myself -- have made, he compares Band of Joy to Led Zeppelin III:
"The two projects have some similarities over 40 years: the spirit of the '70s."

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