Robert Plant recently released a new album, Carry Fire, and took the time to chat with Kyle Meredith of Louisville, Ky.'s WFPK 91.9 to discuss a variety of topics including that album - his second with the Sensational Space Shifters, what he thinks of rock 'n roll and rock music today, and had ears perking when he mentioned the idea of another album with bluegrass icon Alison Krauss.
On Carry Fire, Plant features Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and elaborated on how that came to be on the track "Bluebird over the Mountain" - a song that was originally a 2-minute solo. Meredith and Plant also went on to touch on performing with Patty Griffin with Plant saying she has "the voice of an angel." Continuing on about female acts he has worked with, Plant alluded to discussions he's had with Alison Krauss about a second collaboration titled Raising Hell - a follow-up to their 2007 Grammy winning Raising Sand.
Attending a high brow event for Lead Belly, Plant talked about how he and Krauss came to be by meeting through a mutual friend. "I started to Alison about, 'Can we do something? Why don't you come along and do a couple Lead Belly pieces? So we started doing 'In the Pines,'" the legendary artist stated.
"I'm singing away and she's harmonizing with me and the next time we did it, I sang it a little different. She said, 'Now wait a minute. If we're going to sing together, you have to sing the same thing every time," Plant continued.
Kyle Meredith asked Plant in the interview if he has a wishlist of voices he would like to work with. Plant said no but would love to make another record with Griffin and then went on to say, "Alison and I are always talking about Raising Hell instead of Raising Sand. I got a collection of loads and loads of songs that could be fooled around with. I'm really into writing stuff (sic)."
Plant's and Krauss' Raising Sand was a collection of songs written or performed by other artists - many tracks that were also not that well known - including Plant's own "Please Read the Letter" that he and Jimmy Page recorded for their 1998 set Walking Into Clarksdale. Plant had already expanded his evolving sound as far back as the 1980s but Raising Sand was new territory. The album produced by T Bone Burnett combined various styles - folk, bluegrass, rock 'n roll and country. This set the tone for Plant's follow-up solo records, 2010's Band of Joy and 2014's Lullaby ... and the Ceaseless Roar.
Plant and Krauss mingled their whispery voices for most the album as heard on the slower paced "Killing the Blues" and the uptempo "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)." As with many collaboration records, they each had their own solo tracks as well. Krauss lent her sweet and steady voice to "Trampled Rose" while Plant took the lead on "Nothin'," a song that wrapped folk, bluegrass and rock together. The result was a five-time Grammy winning masterpiece including Album of the Year.
After a successful record like Raising Sand, it's easy to imagine what Plant and Krauss could create with a title like Raising Hell.
Listen to what Plant's interview with Kyle Meredith above.