The Raising Sand collaboration of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant was released in October of 2007. I may be a few months late to the party, but it is surely a party worth attending. Krauss, born in Decatur, Illinois and raised in ChampaignRaising Sand cd cover, Illinois, is a performer of bluegrass music with the band Union Station. Plant, of course, was with Led Zeppelin. Krauss is 36 and Plant is 59. The cd went platinum a little over three weeks ago on March 4.

The cd is unique, even eclectic, yet very welcoming. The style is different in a good way. Plant uses his vocals in good harmony with Krauss, which admittedly surprised me. T-Bone Burnett produced the cd. He is usually associated with class acts who have much underlying, often hidden talent. He brings that talent to the fore. These performers have shown talent in the past, but this cd brings out a different set of skills for them I think.

The All Music Guide gave the cd 4 stars; Billboard 4 stars; Blender 4 stars; Entertainment Weekly A-; MOJO 5 stars; Rolling Stone 3.5 stars (hey it’s not Bob Dylan after all); Uncut 5 stars; and Barnes and Noble 4 stars (based on 28 reader reviews). As of today, March 29, Barnes and Noble rates it’s sales rank as #8.

Gene Clark, formerly of the Byrds, wrote two of the songs, “Polly Come Home” and “Through the Morning, Through the Night.” Clark died in 1991 from a bleeding ulcer at the age of 46.

Phil and Don Everly wrote the song “Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On).” Plant, along with Jimmy Page, Charlie Jones and Michael Lee wrote “Please Read the Letter.” Mel Tillis wrote the song, “Stick With Me, Baby.” There are also songs written by Tom Waits with Kathleen Breenan and by Townes Van Zandt.

Here’s a link to the Raising Sand website: http://www.robertplantalisonkrauss.com/site.php .

This link is to the wikipedia entry for the cd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_Sand. Krauss has a couple of her performances on the “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” film soundtrack. Her wikipedia entry has some samples of her music: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_Krauss and her website is here: http://www.alisonkrauss.com/site.php. Plant’s wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Plant and his homepage: http://www.robertplant.com/ .

It’s nice to find a cd that’s not pretentious, where the performer’s talent shines through, and the music has a lot of repeatability where one doesn’t get tired of hearing it after just a few plays. I used to take chances on many recordings that I knew nothing about when I was younger and found many great performances. This was a chance similar to those of old and was well rewarded.

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