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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Review By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Someone's kidding right? Robert Plant and Alison Krauss? Led Zeppelin meets Union Station? I doubt staunch bluegrass fans will check this out. That's a shame, this is quite an incredible collection of cover songs from the Everly Brothers to Sam Phillips to Mel Tillis.

These two look like they are in a teenage romance looking at the pics. Producer T Bone Burnett has put together a great band of pickers including himself and Marc Ribot on electric guitar. Norman Blake plays mandolin and acoustic guitar. Krauss plays fiddle. Acoustic bass played by sessions ace Dennis Crouch. Jay Bellerose on drums.
Just a great warm analog sound, recorded on vintage equipment. Mastered by Gavin Lurssen Mastering. 

"Gone, Gone, Gone " (Everly Brothers) is a soft warm rocker, real sparse, with just three musicians and lots of vocal overdubs to give a real full sound, drums, acoustic bass, six string bass and electric guitar. Plant uses some of his signature inflections in a more laid back style. 

"Through The morning, Through The Night" (Gene Clark)  A beautiful ballad with Krauss at her best and Plant's voice wraps around Krauss's vocals, just well done. There is some real nice pedal steel. The drums are in the background. Nice electric guitar by the guys, you can hear the tubes breaking up a little, nice effect.

"Trampled Roses" (Waits, Brennon) Krauss's vocals are perfect over a haunting landscape of music including a toy piano. Ribot on dobro for this song, more nice tube distortion.

"Stick With Me Baby " (Mel Tillis) Great love song ,more intensely warm production on this song. The guitars sound so sweet and smooth. You just can't beat tube EQ and some of the old equipment for real musical sound.

"Nothin" (Townes Van Zant) Now this sounds a bit like what you would expect from Plant. Some heavy fuzz tone on the guitars. Krauss plays fiddle over the fuzz guitars. (Ricky Skaggs would love this, laugh) What this album brings out is emotion and some real talent with some mixed genres.

The tones and sounds that are produced on this CD are really intriguing. This is a real audio masterpiece. From gospel to hard rock and everything in-between, this is Americana at it's best. I think this CD proves a lot about quality in music. This is not digital music, recorded on old and unusual instruments and recording equipment by audiophiles, this was mastered by a guy who likes to use tube compressors and tube EQ. T Bone Burnett is a genius getting the performance out of this great group of musicians. This would sound just as good on vinyl. For me, this was a real fun and moving listen. Go on, let your curiosity get the best of you.

Out on Rounder Records 10/23/07.

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