Robert Plant, 'Band of Joy' (Rounder)

8
Band of Joy
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Label: Rounder

by David Menconi

Plant has had an unlikely late-career resurgence by embracing his folkier (if not freakier) side, starting with 2007's T-Bone Burnett–produced Raising Sand. Nashville alt-country icon Buddy Miller serves as ringleader this go-round, transposing Plant's misty mountain hop to old, weird Appalachia. Patty Griffin stands in for Alison Krauss as Plant's femme foil, with covers ranging from Los Lobos to Townes Van Zandt to '60s soul star Barbara Lynn -- all done up as moonshine-soaked country blues with a gospel undercurrent. "Satan, your kingdom must come down," Plant croons on the penultimate track. Take that, Jimmy Page.

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