Most artist don’t wait 14 years to follow up a big Grammy winning album, but Alison Krauss and Robert Plant did.
Raise The Roof was released on November 19th, 2021. The first single is “Can’t Let Go”, which sounds like a long lost hit by the Everly Brothers (even though Lucinda Williams wrote it). You may remember that the Everly’s “Gone Gone Gone” was the first hit from their previous album. Here’s the link to “Can’t Let Go”:
Their 2007 album Raising Sand won five Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year. Once again, T Bone Burnett (who also won a Grammy for the last album) is the producer, and he used top session players. One song, “High And Lonesome” is an original, and the other eleven songs are by outside writers. Here’s the track list:
Eleven of the twelve songs are covers of relatively obscure tracks that the duo and producer T Bone Burnett have shaped into their own style. Two of the songs that feature both Plant and Krauss throughout, “Quattro (World Drifts In)” and “Can’t Let Go” are standout tracks. Many of the songs are more like solos, with some harmony help from the other singer. One such song, and another highlight, features Robert Plant’s “High And Lonesome”, which he wrote with Burnett. The 73-year-old singer’s voice is still strong, and sounds impressive throughout the album. Of course Krauss, at 50, has one of the most beautiful voices in all of music.
The arrangements and the production by T Bone Burnett are as important as the stars’ vocals. An example of how rearranging a song can be transformative is “The Price Of Love”. It’s an old Everly Brothers song that didn’t particularly resonate. Here it’s slowed down to become a moody piece sung mostly by Alison Krauss, with the harmonies saved for the chorus. It works so much better.
If you liked the first album by these two, you’ll enjoy Raise The Roof too. The quality is still there (it may even be a little better), but with some major releases this year, it may not win as big at the Grammys.
Krauss and Plant have also been touring.
Extra: For a career-spanning article on Alison Krauss, and exclusive concert photos, here’s the link: https://ontherecords.net/2020/02/alison-krauss/