TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the January 2022 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
In 2007, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss released Raising Sand, one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st Century. It was an unlikely, mesmerizing pairing of one of rock's greatest frontmen with one of country music's finest and most honored artists, produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett. Now, after 14 years, they return with Raise The Roof, a dozen songs from a range of traditions and styles that extend this remarkable collaboration in new and thrilling directions. Includes covers of songs by Calexico, the Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Betty Harris, Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces, Lucinda Williams, Bert Jansch, Ola Belle Reed, Geeshie Wiley, Merle Haggard and Maria Muldaur.
It may have taken 14 years to arrive, but Raise the Roof is another gem from the Plant/Krauss/Burnett team. It's surely as powerful as, and possibly better than, the twosome's impressive debut.
The songs are again an eclectic collection that includes covers of obscure rockabilly, country and folk tunes, with sources ranging from the Everly Brothers and Allen Toussaint to Calexico and Merle Haggard... But it's the vocal mix that leaves a lasting impression. Harmony involves difference, and as Krauss and Plant draw on their disparate backgrounds in bluegrass and arena rock, what emerges is a musical marvel. Singing together at the end of the British folk tune 'Go Your Way,' they each squeeze 12 notes from a single syllable, finding beauty even in the word 'woe.'
Though the song selection throughout is first-rate, it's a disparate enough group of tunes that Raise the Roof would be eclectic, if it weren't for the way Plant and Krauss (and the band) come together as if they'd been doing this non-stop for the past decade and a half. Perhaps the most appealing part of the album is that regardless of what sound, style or location these songs came from - British folk, New Orleans soul, Bakersfield country - they sound cohesive and of a piece in the hands of Plant and Krauss. In other words, the singers make these songs sound like their own.
There's a palpable pleasure in hearing Plant and Krauss harmonize and trade lines. It often feels like they're delighted that they're making an album that lives up to their debut, and it's hard not to share their thrill.
Raise the Roof raises the bar across the soundboard ... Rather than mirror past achievements, Raise the Roof plants a framework for this high plains drifting duo to continue pushing forward in their quest to mine songwriters' gold, both old and anew.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Produced by T Bone Burnett
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in USA
- Quattro (World Drifts In)
- The Price Of Love
- Go Your Way
- Trouble With My Lover
- Searching For My Love
- Can't Let Go
- It Don't Bother Me
- You Led Me To The Wrong
- Last Kind Words Blues
- High And Lonesome
- Going Where The Lonely Go
- Somebody Was Watching Over Me