Friday, September 23, 2011

Robert Plant, Patty Griffin debut Crown Vic lineup in Marfa, Texas

Well, this may be an early indicator of what Robert Plant's career may look like next. And no, it's not with Led Zeppelin.

But it does include their music.

No, Robert's not taking his own "Hot Dog" advice from 1979: "I'll never go to Texas anymore." He's long broken that rule.

On Thursday night, he appeared in Texas, as rumored, at Marfa's El Cosmico for the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love. He and native Texan Patty Griffin sang with a band of Lone Star Staters called the Crown Vic.

Something tells me that name may already be copyrighted.

The band's got electric guitar, mandolin, keyboard and accordion, electric and acoustic bass, and drums. Griffin's on mandolin, too, besides singing and doing her one and only dance.

In uploading a video of their first song on YouTube, MarcDurbin identifies the band members with Plant and Griffin as "David Grissom (electric guitar), Michael Ramos (organ, accordion), Glenn Fukunaga (acoustic & electric bass), [and] Dony Wynn (drums)."

As has been the case with just about every Robert Plant band of the last 20 years -- wait, make that 41 years -- they do "Black Dog." Hmm, that could have been predicted.

Plant's set puts a Texas town seven hours west of Austin on the map. Hundreds are attending the festival in Marfa, reports Nathaniel Miller for Odessa American Online.

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Plant and Griffin are said to have been rehearsing in Austin with the group of local musicians. When Griffin goes on the road with Buddy Miller, Plant is expected to remain in Austin to continue working with Crown Vic.

Robert Plant's name does not appear on the festival poster. His appearance was rumored but not officially announced until the day of the festival opening. Previously, Patty Griffin was scheduled to appear with "special guests" who would be a surprise.
@SoundCheckMag posted on Twitter:
"Incredible! Mostly killer blues rock w/ some Louisiana accordion & beats. A few slow tunes too. [T]heir harmonies are perfect."
Miller added via Twitter that "Rock and Roll" also made Griffin and Plant's set list. KGSR's Andy Langer has uploaded "Misty Mountain Hop" to YouTube. (Hey, it seems like Plant's been listening to Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album!)

Swan Percussion via Facebook
From Miller's report on Odessa American Online:
Singer Patty Griffin appeared on stage and introduced her band, including one of the most famous lead singers in rock history.

"I'd like to introduce you to my dear, dear friend, Robert Plant," Griffin said to an explosion of cheers.

About 300 people from around the state gathered in Marfa for El Cosmico's sixth annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love, and the crowd seemed remarkably calm and quiet. Attendees and vendors gathered to listen to music, eat food and drink beer.

Isadora McKeon, producer of the event, said the event was also helping those in need. "Five dollars of each preregistration ticket sold will go to the Central Texas Wildfire Relief Fund," McKeon said. ...

What started out as friends coming together at the building's location, turned into a two day festival of music, vendors and fun. "I'm proud of what we created,” McKeon said.

Since its inaugural festival, the event has grown into three days, with a show added on Thursday, and it will continue to hold events such as the baseball game between Marfa and Austin on Saturday, and have numerous vendors selling art, clothing and food. ...

People who attended the show said they were aware Plant would be at the show, but did not know for sure if he was really going to take the state.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shop launching on Jimmy Page's official site to offer limited edition of 'Death Wish II' vinyl

Jimmy Page's 1982 soundtrack for the movie Death Wish II is to be rereleased next month in a limited quantity, a news item on the guitarist's official website has announced.

The Death Wish II soundtrack was the first album released by any surviving member of Led Zeppelin after the group disbanded in 1980.

It was 30 years ago on Sept. 15 that Page recorded an instrumental that was used as the film's main title sequence but was not available on the original soundtrack album.

That instrumental, an early version of the album's song "Who's to Blame" simply called "Synth Track," is said to be added to the track listing of the remastered soundtrack to be issued in October.

Page says the working title "referred to the initial guitar track performed on a guitar synthesiser with further overdubs with guitar synthesiser and melody lines from a Telecaster string bender."

For only 24 hours, the front page of Page's site features a clip of "Synth Track." He says he recently found a white label test pressing of it in his personal collection.

The release is also to include liner notes newly written by Page. He explains on his site:
In 1981, Michael Winner asked me if I would compose the soundtrack to Death Wish II. The songs with vocals were only going to appear in the film for a matter of seconds but I had recorded full versions of them anyway - which is how I ended up doing my first soundtrack and soundtrack album. I’ve re-released this because I wanted it to be available again.
Only 1,000 copies of the remastered Death Wish II vinyl are to be pressed, according to Page's site. They are to be sold exclusively through the forthcoming shop on No plans have been announced for any other reissues at this time.

Page launched his first official site on July 14, saying in an interview published on it four days later, "I think this is the ideal vehicle to present my past, present and future work."

His recollections about Death Wish II, including a track identification log for "Synth Track," are part of the daily "On This Day" feature that keeps the site's front page fresh each day. "It looks random, but it isn't," he explained. "I love the idea that there will be a 'Splash' page everyday and nobody will be able to guess what's coming next."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Will Robert Plant sing again between projects?

Campers arriving next Thursday night in Marfa, Texas, for the 6th Annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love, may find out that one of the unnamed "special guests" appearing with Patty Griffin during her set is Robert Plant!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jason Bonham announces fall Led Zeppelin Experience tour dates; live DVD from Black Country Communion also previewed

Two bits of news have emerged from Jason Bonham's camp this week: one involving an upcoming live release from his group Black Country Communion, and the other involving his other touring outfit, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.

First, a release date has been set for Black Country Communion's live 2-DVD set. While Bonham toured Europe with bandmates Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa and Derek Sherinian over the summer, they filmed what looks like a pretty decent performance of tracks from their two studio albums.

Titled Live over Europe, the two-DVD set will be available Oct. 24 with pre-orders being taken beginning Sept. 13. It will be Black Country Communion's second release this year, following the June release of Black Country Communion 2. It hasn't even been a full year since the release of their self-titled debut.

There's already a trailer for the DVD, just released on YouTube this week. And anyone going to the band's official website,, can register to receive a free MP3 download of one of the songs included on the DVD. Downloading begins Sept. 8.

In other Bonham news, his other band has today announced a slew of upcoming tour dates scheduled this fall. Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience began last year as a large-scale vehicle for the drummer to connect with audiences in sharing his own personal story of growing up with the Led Zeppelin family. The stories Bonham tells onstage are complemented by the songs played by hand-selected musicians who aren't lookalikes or even imitators of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones.

This will be Bonham's third outing with the Led Zeppelin Experience lineup. They have toured the United States and Canada twice already.

Four of the upcoming live dates were rescheduled from earlier appearances that were postponed at the time due to the illness of singer James Dylan. Tickets from the previously postponed California and Nevada shows will be honored on the night of the rescheduled show.

The four rescheduled dates are:
  • Oct. 14: Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Oct. 15: Alliente Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Oct. 17: Crest Theatre, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Oct. 18: Uptown Theatre, Napa Valley, Calif.
Ten other newly announced shows are to take place in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Ontario, Canada. The band will be returning to previously entertained markets in some of these cases. The new dates are:
  • Oct. 12: Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside, Calif.
  • Oct. 13: Fox Theatre, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Oct. 27: Bergen PAC, Englewood, N.J.
  • Oct. 28: Paramount Theater, Huntington, N.Y.
  • Oct. 29: Tower Theater, Upper Darby, Pa.
  • Oct. 31: Wilbur Theatre, Boston, Mass.
  • Nov. 1: Best Buy Theater, New York, N.Y.
  • Nov. 2: The Webster, Hartford, Conn.
  • Nov. 4: Town Ballroom, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Nov. 5: Casino Rama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
In addition, the locations of two shows in Quebec remain to be announced later this month.
  • One will take place Nov. 6 at a venue in Ottawa or Gatineau; details are to be announced Sept. 19. (UPDATE: It takes place at Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau.)
  • The other show is to take place Nov. 7 in Quebec City; details are to be announced Sept. 6. (UPDATE: It takes place at the Grand Theatre de Quebec.)
Additional tour dates were announced Sept. 15 as follows:
  • Nov. 10: The Fillmore, Silver Spring, Md.
  • Nov. 11: The Chance, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • Nov. 12: The National, Richmond, Va.
  • Nov. 13: Center Stage, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Nov. 16: Hard Rock Live, Orlando, Fla.
  • Nov. 17: Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena, Hollywood, Fla.
  • Nov. 18: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Fla.