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The Pagemeister

Robert Plant Announces New ‘Carry Fire’ LP, Debuts ‘The May Queen’ Single

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22 hours ago, sam_webmaster said:

Chicago Tribune - February 16, 2018
by Dan Hyman

Robert Plant is hell-bent on making the most of his remaining years. “You’ve got to keep moving,” says the 69-year-old Led Zeppelin singer who when calling on a recent morning from New York City, while en route to a chess lesson, excitedly explains how in in the nearly 40 years since his most famous band’s dissolution he’s been on a “rampant search” and an ongoing “quest for creating great sound.” “I’m told you get a certain time in your life to do something and then after awhile maybe you just start repeating yourself,” Plant says, but the renowned singer has no intention of following that path.

It’s why Plant, who plays the Riviera on Tuesday, has made it a priority in recent years to remain open to new and unexpected creative collaboration. “I’m always changing the picture,” the Welsh singer says before noting how in the past 15 years alone he’s veered from 2007’s “Raising Sand,” a sweet and shadowy Grammy-winning collaboration with the bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, to 2010’s “more psychedelic and trippy” “Band of Joy,” recorded with an entirely new band and assistance from close friend Buddy Miller and former girlfriend, Patti Griffin. Beginning with 2014’s “Lullaby… and the Ceaseless Roar,” and continuing with last fall’s “Carry Fire,” Plant reunited with a diverse collection of world musicians, dubbed the Sensational Shape Shifters, many of whom he’s worked with in various capacities for nearly 20 years. “But it starts with the will to combine various little bits and pieces of ideas that constantly appear,” Plant explains of what binds together his various projects. “Just keep exploring this amazing workshop of ideas and sounds and idioms.”

“Carry Fire” draws from Plant’s longtime equal-parts embrace of Celtic, roots and Middle Eastern music, and it’s also one of his most timely works to date: “Bones of Saints" is an anthem against mass shootings while “New World” attempts to make sense of the unfortunate human impulse towards xenophobia. “Out here the immigrant takes hold/ Across the plains and over mountains/ Put flight to all who came before/ They're barely human,” Plant sings in his trademark banshee howl.

To hear him tell it, Plant’s search and passion for musical discovery is hardly a new phenomenon. The soft-spoken singer recalls traveling to Bombay, India (now Mumbai) in 1971, with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and being utterly inspired by the sights and sounds of the then-foreign land. “Page and I ended up there with a small orchestra with a two-track Revox tape recorder recording “Friends” and “Four Sticks,” he says referencing a pair of Zeppelin songs that appear on the band’s third and fourth albums, respectively. “Apparently we were the first European rockers to play in Bombay. We went to this club and I played drums, Jimmy played guitar. We did ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and other songs like that. It was all very fun.”

“There’s all sorts of music everywhere,” Plant says, “and everybody of a certain stature is always looking for the next hike into the next great musical adventure. I just figure, considering I was supposed to just be a rock singer I’ve been very fortunate to modify what I do and give bits and pieces of my energy to people to change it around a bit.”

A prime example, he says, was his participating in the 2016 Lampedusa benefit tour alongside Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Milk Carton Kids to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. Not only was it for a good cause, he says, but Plant recalls how the stripped-down nature of the performances allowed him to utilize his notoriously versatile voice in thrilling new ways: “It was so moving to sing with such beautiful voices around me and for me to play and sing where there’s nowhere to hide.”

Even Plant however will admit some of his classic-rock contemporaries — many of whom seem perpetually on a greatest-hits tour with songs made famous several decades back — have not taken the same course as him. “Older musicians who get famous for one thing, I think they all want to do different things,” he says. “But if you’re not on the pipeline or if you can’t hear the subterranean drumbeat it’s not quite so easily found.”

As for the constant speculation and media hype about a potential Led Zeppelin reunion tour — a prospect only amplified by the group’s remaining members reuniting for a one-off benefit show in 2007 to honor late Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun — Plant can only laugh. As he sees it, by Zeppelin disbanding following drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980, they’ve better preserved their legacy.

“The reason that I feel strongly abut the beauty of Led Zeppelin and that other people do too is because we didn’t overblow it,” Plant says. “We didn’t end up getting a new drummer. We didn’t end up really going into super cliche characters lumbering along. If your heroes continue in the same vein forever the whole thing is just taken for granted and it becomes some dreary old Tin Pan Alley that needs some new blacktop. We knew that Bonham was irreplaceable. By bowing out at the right time we didn’t mess it up.

“Nobody in the band really knew what the hell we were about at all anyway,” Plant says with a laugh. “You can hear those Zeppelin songs and there’s quite a lot of naivete. I don’t think I’ve sang about Gollum or Frodo for about what seems to me about 47 years and yet still I’m castigated for it.”

Plant says he has no plans to slow down anytime soon, but he feels it’s not entirely his decision. “If there’s no creative renaissance then you don’t write new songs. And if you don’t write new songs then you must think about doing something else with the years that are left.” “Plus,” he adds with a laugh, “if I couldn’t do any of this anymore I’d just be following my soccer team.”

Dan Hyman is a freelance writer.
Twitter @chitribent

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave.
Tickets: $69.75; 773.275.6800 or www.rivieratheatre.com

"Welsh singer"??

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Yes, "Welsh singer" is a pretty basic mistake, although probably a well-intentioned one: the famous Bron-Yr-Aur cottage trip with Page is always narrated as a return for Plant to place he had lived in and love in the past.

There's also the mis-dating of the Bombay trip to '71 when those sessions took place in early '72. I imagine the writer simply took Plant's slightly off recollection as fact.

But I still think it's a great little piece. I just love reading almost whatever Plant says. His interviews are a lot like his musical direction: He touches on the same general themes and circles back to certain things, but every interview is a bit different and he's always changing up what he focuses on and how he says stuff.

 

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6 hours ago, The Only Way To Fly said:

Could this be present tense? Doesn't he live in Wales now? 

Don't think so but he usually says he lives on the Welsh border. Not sure how close to it he actually is, not familiar with that area.

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Robert Plant keeps it interesting

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

Massey Hall  | Saturday night | RATING:  4.5 out of 5
by
Jane Stevenson

When lead singer of blues-influenced British hard rock band Led Zeppelin is on your resume, you really don’t have much to prove any more.

And with Zep celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, Robert Plant — widely considered to be the best singer in classic rock — could be forgiven for just loading up his current set list with a lot of oldies for a crowd-pleasing night of music.

Instead, the 69-year-old lion-haired belter is taking a different approach as he tours in support of his latest Americana-soaked solo album, 2017’s Carry Fire.

Pulling into Massey Hall on Saturday night for the only Canadian stop of his current trek, Plant delivered a variety of the blues-world music on Carry Fire, some earlier solo work, a couple of blues and traditional covers, and Zeppelin material — reworked to various degrees.

In other words, he kept it interesting for himself and the audience.

And upping the musical ante were the aptly named Sensational Space Shifters — five musicians from England that include incredible guitarists Justin Adams and Liam “Skin” Tyson, plus the addition of fiddle player (and opening act) Seth Lakeman.

Their combined talents were so powerful that Plant frequently just stood back and watched and listened while holding his mic stand.

Opening with New World from Carry Fire, Plant — often banging a tambourine and chatting up a storm in between songs — also performed on a stripped-down stage save for the new album’s art work projected on a back screen.

It was really all about the quality of music and the fact that we were in the presence of rock royalty as the audience leapt to its feet and remained there for most of the night.

“Hey Toronto! Turn it up!” said Plant as he continued with Turn It Up from his 2014 album, Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar.

There really wasn’t a weak link save for a questionable and drastically reworked version of Zep’s Misty Mountain Hop which ended the 90-minute show before a 15-minute encore that included the ‘80s solo song, In the Mood.

Plant was otherwise in great voice on such standouts as The May Queen and the title track from Carry Fire, older solo tunes like Rainbow and All The King’s Horses, and Please Read the Letter from his time with bluegrass great Alison Krauss on the Grammy-winning Raising Sand collaboration.

“That’s about as close to Nashville as we get,” said Plant of the Krauss song.

That wasn’t necessarily true given the exhilarating bluegrass cover of Little Maggie that followed.

But when Plant offered up his first Zep tune of the night, That’s The Way, the audience went nuts, and did so again for Gallows Pole, which he described as “an an old English folk tune captured by Lead Belly,” and Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You, the latter definitely the highlight of the entire night.

Although, Zep’s Whole Lotta Love, preceded by the riff from Bring It On Home, during the encore came a close second as Plant and company finally let it rip.

Every time the audience joined in with some clapping or singing, Plant seemed particularly jazzed and when he spotted some people sitting at one point he asked: “Do you need some Ovaltine?”

Clearly, Plant — despite his advancing age — doesn’t yet.

“The thing about being senior — sometimes you’re not,” he joked.

SET LIST

New World

Turn It Up

The May Queen

Rainbow

That’s the Way

All the King’s Horses

Please Read the Letter

Gallows Pole

Carry Fire

Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You

Little Maggie

Fixin’ to Die

Misty Mountain Hop

ENCORE

In the Mood

Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love / Santy Anno/ Whole Lotta Love
 
http://torontosun.com/entertainment/music/stevenson-robert-plant-keeps-it-interesting

 

 

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Robert Plant: le capitaine tranquille

http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/musique/520576/l-ancien-chanteur-de-led-zeppelin-navigue-bien-au-dela-de-l-ombre-du-mythique-groupe

Bien sûr, l’ombre de l’éternel Zeppelin planait dans la salle. Et une bonne partie de la foule était là pour lui rappeler ce qu’elle voulait entendre, à grands coups de chandails à l’iconographie criarde, enfilés le temps d’une soirée. Mais non, Robert Plant n’était pas là pour rejouer dans le film du mythique groupe britannique.

Il est arrivé sur la scène de l’historique Massey Hall la dégaine décontractée et la crinière fournie, flanqué d’une solide troupe de six musiciens, ses Sensational Space Shifters. Et il a attaqué par la nouveauté, avec deux pièces de son plus récent album, Carry Fire, lancé en octobre, mais aussi deux du précédent, Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, sorti trois ans plus tôt.

Un coup d’envoi où il y avait tout, et on reconnaissait le son de celui qui, à 69 ans, parvient toujours à produire une œuvre musicale originale, avec ses influences du Maghreb, du bluegrass et du country, en passant par quelques pointes d’électro livrées par un ancien membre de Massive Attack. Bref, on nage dans un univers riche et invitant.

Robert Plant, lui, y navigue à l’aise, appuyé sur sa base, dont les deux guitaristes à qui il cède le plus souvent le devant de la scène, Justin Adams et Liam Tyson. Des musiciens qui prennent visiblement plaisir à ajouter leur touche personnelle au détour d’une improvisation, s’attirant des sourires du chanteur, bien souvent attentif, en retrait.

Mais lorsqu’il reprend le micro, on se surprend à entendre une voix qui a certes vieilli, mais de belle façon. Il la pousse aux bons moments, et il atteint les bonnes cibles. C’est qu’il a su stopper les excès bien avant d’autres, lui, l’artiste qui pouvait facilement se dire : « been there done that ». Et cette voix, elle est touchante, presque monastique, sur Please Read the Letter, enregistrée avec son ancienne complice Alison Krauss sur Raising Sand.

Revisiter le Zeppelin

Il aura fallu attendre la cinquième pièce pour avoir droit à un morceau choisi du défunt Zeppelin, de « cette histoire qui ne semble pas vouloir se terminer », lance Robert Plant. Et encore, on restait dans le ton, avec une version au diapason de That’s the Way.

Pas question ici de faire le juke-box. Il pourrait enfiler les succès dans des amphithéâtres de 20 000 places, et la foule exulterait. Mais non, il choisit volontairement de plus petites salles à l’acoustique intéressante, il brasse et rebrasse les arrangements des pièces enregistrées il y a plus de 40 ans, et il opte le plus souvent pour des surprises dans ce répertoire archi connu.

Il fallait entendre Liam Tyson y aller de notes flamencos dans Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, une pièce du premier album de Led Zeppelin, mais jamais jouée sur scène à l’époque. Même volonté de bonifier le classique avec l’ajout d’un violon et d’une contrebasse sur une Gallows Pole revampée. Une belle idée pour cette autre pièce que Led Zeppelin ne livrait pas en spectacle.

En beau joueur, Robert Plant a tout même conclu en lançant ses Sensational Space Shifters dans les premiers riffs de Bring it On Home, avant de balancer LE riff de Whole Lotta Love. La voix a suivi, puissante. Pourquoi bouder son plaisir, puisque tout était là, et sonnait puissamment? On espère d’ailleurs qu’il refera le coup de sa dernière tournée, au cours de laquelle plusieurs spectacles ont été enregistrés, pour ensuite être offerts en ligne, à petits prix. La belle idée.

Maturité

Bref, l’ensemble dégage une impression de maturité artistique, et impose le respect. Car Robert Plant aurait pu choisir la voie facile. Tout le poussait vers cela, à commencer par ses anciens complices de Led Zeppelin, dont Jimmy Page.

La preuve ? Pour leur unique et ultime spectacle d’adieu, à Londres en 2007, pas moins de 20 millions de personnes de partout dans le monde s’étaient inscrites au tirage pour gagner le droit d’acheter un billet. Malgré les centaines de millions prêts à être cueillis en remplissant des stades, Plant a dit non.

Il a refusé l’étiquette du dinosaure qui joue la carte de l’ultime tournée pour nous refaire le coup, encore une fois, d’un fade et forcé « gériatrique-rock ». Et dans ce domaine, les exemples sont légion. Robert Plant est ailleurs, et pour le mieux.

-Le Devoir

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On ‎2‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 1:42 AM, Urozep said:

Am I crazy or does his shows seem short?

He does about 90 minutes max nowadays...then an encore.

Edited by SteveAJones

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With new music, Robert Plant still pleases Zeppelin fans
But he pulled out some Zep classics, too, at the Orpheum on Thursday.

By Jon Bream Star Tribune
February 22, 2018

http://www.startribune.com/with-new-music-robert-plant-still-pleases-zeppelin-fans/474922963/

Looking like some kind of Olympic god who descended from a misty mountaintop, Robert Plant landed at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday and declared that no song remains the same.

When he deigned to dip into the Led Zeppelin catalog, he re-imagined his old works. But that's been the story throughout his solo career ever since Zeppelin crashed after the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980.

But on this tour, Plant had a different vibe, especially compared to his last Twin Cities concert in 2011, when he was backed by the Band of Joy, featuring Americans Buddy Miller, Darrell Scott and Patty Griffin. This time, Plant was supported by the Sensational Space Shifters, his all-British band of six years.

The music felt more romantic than mystical, more jam-band than genre-blending, more fun than satisfying.

At 69, with his lion-like mane in a man bun, Plant was friendly, talking about having played at the Orpheum before. He thanked the sellout crowd for coming out in this weather in "the land of ice and snow," echoing a lyric from Zep's "Immigrant Song."

Plant's opening number, "New World" from his new album "Carry Fire," could be an update of that 1970 Zep tune; but that song was about Vikings and the new piece is vague, fitting for these times, heightened in concert by glistening guitars.

The first four selections on Wednesday came from the two albums Plant has made with the Space Shifters. Fueled by rudimentary drums, rock guitar riffs and fascinating rhythms, "Turn It Up" found Plant singing in his midrange. On the ensuing "May Queen," a musical meeting of Middle Eastern and West African guitars, Plant made it clear that his voice is more about nuance than forcefulness these days. No one seemed to complain.

Like Paul Simon, Plant pushes forward, learning about new sounds from around the world and assimilating them into his music. He doesn't ignore the past, but just reinvents it.

And that was OK with the fans, who responded loudest to Led Zeppelin songs. The first line of Zep's "Going to California" drew a wild reaction as Plant played this acoustic classic for the first time on this current U.S. tour. (Other cities got "Misty Mountain Top" instead.) Moreover, Plant suddenly seemed more intense, with the Zep material requiring the Space Shifters to play with more precision compared to the deliciously organic looseness of their recordings.

Another Zep highlight was a tremendous treatment of "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," the folk song made famous by Joan Baez and heard on Zeppelin's first album in 1969. Thursday's performance was deeply emotional, with Plant unleashing high notes (embellished by echo effects) and guitarist Liam Tyson providing a flamenco flurry in the middle of this over-the-top blues song. This tune was the musicality of Plant in a nutshell.

Of course, the encore was devoted to Zeppelin — "Whole Lotta Love" with Plant struggling for his high notes, mixed with the fiddle-fueled sea shanty "Santianna." Odd but crowd-pleasing.

The fans warmed up to plenty of non-Zep songs. The ever-adventurous Plant dusted off "Little Maggie," a ditty from 1929, and dressed it up with banjo, oud and a burbling keyboard EDM-style solo.

The earthy Americana reading of "Please Read My Letter" was closer to Plant 2007's version with Alison Krauss than the one he did with Jimmy Page, his old Zep partner, in their duo days.

The best non-Zep number was "Carry Fire." Built around the Middle Eastern twang of guitarist Justin Adams, the piece combined the romantic with the mystical, talking about finding love in the Promised Land. And that's what you can hope for at a Robert Plant concert these days.

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Robert Plant thrills with a mix of fresh new songs and Zep oldies at the Orpheum

by Erik Thompson

Robert Plant has been trapped in the dusty tomb of classic-rock radio long enough.

Robert_Plant_TN-282.jpg?w=1300

On a snowy Thursday night, the erstwhile Led Zeppelin frontman reminded a sold-out Orpheum Theatre that he’s still making vital music while nodding graciously to the influences that helped shape the towering sound of his legendary former band.

His famous mane tied back in a man bun (pulling off the look far more stylishly than Thom Yorke), the 69-year-old Plant looked fighting fit in a greenish-gold patterned satin shirt. And while his hips don't swivel like they once did and his shirt stayed buttoned up, Plant still has the swagger and charisma to ensure he's the coolest guy in every room he enters.

Plant was flanked by his all-British five-piece backing band, the Sensational Shape Shifters, who added different styles and flourishes to Plant's older material while giving his new tunes a fresh, vibrant pulse. The three tracks the band played from 2017's Carry Fire were among the highlights of the 100-minute set. "New World…" emphatically started the show, "The May Queen" harkened back to "Stairway to Heaven" (with Plant dedicating it to "the Princess of Summer"), and the Indian-influenced title track was a showstopper, with blood-red flames and historical iconography filling the backdrop—the only time visuals were used during the set.

Plant sprinkled a generous selection of Zep classics throughout the performance as well. For a tender acoustic run-through of "Going to California" (making its tour debut), Plant reworked the lyrics, singing "I'm going to Minnesota with an aching in my heart" with his hand placed affectionately on his chest. "That song is still as lovely as the day it was written," he said as it wrapped up. Another surprise was a stripped-down version of the Led Zeppelin III cut "Friends," which evoked emotional memories of mates we've all made along our life's journey.

"It's great to be back here," Plant announced early in the show. "We didn't think we'd been here [the Orpheum Theatre] before, then we saw us on a sign on the wall, for fuck's sake, and now we know we've been here before." The elegant theater was a perfect fit, with Plant's voice resonating warmly over his band’s rollicking tones. Guitarist Skin Tyson played with a bluesy, acoustic flair, while Justin Adams’ guitar added a rowdy, rockabilly style. They complemented each other perfectly.

But the set wasn't all bombast and brawn. Many of the tunes had the communal feel of an Irish céilí, with violinist (and opening act) Seth Lakemen contributing a folksy intimacy. Plant doesn't seem interested in perpetuating the myth of his Rock God status any longer; he'd rather let his guard down and share bits of his soul with his fans while he still has the time.

An epic version of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" anchored the end of the main set. You can't be timid when delivering such an anguished tune, and Robert Plant has been owning anguished rock songs for over four decades now. His pained wail at the start of the second verse was alone worth the price of admission.

"Some bands borrow from the blues, but where I'm from we outright steal it," Plant said cheekily as the main set came to an end. And the covers he chose—"Little Maggie," "Fixin' to Die," and a boisterous "Gallows Pole"—showed how the blues shaped Zep's early sound, and indeed Plant's entire musical career.

A smoldering, keys-laden version of Plant's 1983 solo hit "In the Mood" kicked off the encore, punctuated with the rousing call to arms, "You know what, people? I'm in the mood!" And indeed, Plant was in fine spirits and great voice throughout the show, though he leaned heavily on his band for the closing medley, as a fiery snippet of "Bring It On Home" gave way to a tempestuous "Whole Lotta Love." An old sea shanty, "Santianna," was mixed in for good measure before the band returned to the stormy Led Zeppelin II classic to end the night with a potent shot, reminding us all (if we even needed reminding) how much that band transformed the sound and style of rock and roll. And Robert Plant is still taking that sound in exciting new directions, offering up a whole lot more love in the process.

Photo gallery: http://www.citypages.com/slideshows/robert-plant-makes-69-look-pretty-damn-hot-at-the-orpheum/474956323

Setlist:

New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
Going to California
All the Kings Horses
Please Read the Letter
Friends
Carry Fire
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin' to Die
Gallows Pole

Encore
In the Mood
Bring It On Home/Whole Lotta Love/Santianna/Whole Lotta Love

 

 

 

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Robert Plant treats Phoenix to a perfect blend of new material and prime Led Zeppelin cuts

Ed Masley, The Republic - azcentral.com

636553324597061964-RobertPlant_rf.022618_001.JPG.2e70fc886fb40477982e54086d676ad4.JPG

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters perform during a sold out show at Phoenix Symphony Hall in Phoenix on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

Robert Plant at Symphony Hall in Phoenix 2018

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Photo - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

Robert Plant could be headlining stadium tours with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones in celebration of Led Zeppelin turning 50 if that's what he wanted.

But Plant would clearly rather chase his own muse on his own terms.

That's not saying he's averse to flirting with nostalgia, as the number of Led Zeppelin songs that dotted Monday's set in his sold-out performance at Symphony Hall would suggest.

Wisely chosen Led Zeppelin classics

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Photo - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

Wisely Chosen Led Zeppelin classics

Those songs made sense, though, in the context of the legend's new work with his touring band, the Sensational Space Shifters, who joined him on his two most recent albums, last year's "Carry Fire" and 2014's "lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar."

The singer's recent output is a haunting blend of world music, psychedelic folk and American blues, which means it's also something of a natural extension of a path he's been exploring since the very early '70s.

It's of a piece without resorting to repeating those old movies.

"That's the Way," the show's first Zeppelin song, seemed fairly faithful, the singer accompanied only by the strum of an acoustic as the song began, but most other forays into getting the Led out were rearranged to better suit his current head space.

Introduced as "a song that Lead Belly made famous," "Gallows Pole," an old folk song that served as a highlight of "Led Zeppelin III," was given a more bluegrass-flavored treatment, complete with a fiddle solo from the great Seth Lakemen, who also turned in a well-received opening set.

And the version of "Misty Mountain Hop" that closed the proper set was completely recast, easing in with a gorgeous melody of violin. He did once title an album "The Mighty ReArranger." after all.

Robert Plant's new music

The concert got off to a brilliant start with four songs from his two most recent albums, setting into a hypnotic vibe with "New World..." and "Turn it Up" while giving both touring guitarists, Skin Tyson and Justin Adams, a turn in the spotlight.

His flowing mane tied in a man bun, the bearded singer was working the mic stand like Elvis on "The May Queen," which featured a sexy lead vocal and a snippet of "Prodigal Son," a Robert Wilkins song made famous by the Rolling Stones.

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Photo - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

Four songs in, "Rainbow" featured some haunting falsetto from Plant, by which point it was clear that the man was in excellent voice.

And by "excellent voice," I do not mean "good voice for 69."

He may not be able to wail with the force he commanded in his 20s, but he knows what to do with the voice he has now.

636553324600181984-RobertPlant_rf.022618_019.JPG.2405118ed4ad68381a6cfe86d69c1e04.JPG

Photo - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

He's still got it

As Plant told Phoenix New Times, "I've really had to learn a different way of adapting my voice. So that was a tough thing to do, but I really wanted to do it. And it's given me enough of a vocal personality to break away from the old days, but still be able to visit them."

That personality was in full effect when it came to his phrasing of Led Zeppelin's take on "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You," lending a playful sense of spontaneity to the proceedings.

But on other highlights of the set, that voice just sounded really sweet and pure, from "That's the Way" to a breathtaking "All the King's Horses" and Richard Thompson's "House of Cards," a song he covered in 2010 on "Band of Joy."

The man remains a charismatic presence. And on Monday in Phoenix, he frequently prefaced the songs with entertaining anecdotes.

Before the Thompson song, for instance, this is what he had to say.

"Back over there, across the ocean, back in Western Europe, there's a place called England and it's chockablock with musicians. There's loads of us everywhere. More than you could imagine, really. Some of them are old."

And then reconsidered that last sentence and with perfect coming timing added, "Most of them are old."

A raucous interpretation of Bukka White's "Fixin' to Die" brought the set to an overheated climax on the strength of lead guitarist Justin Adams' wild guitar theatrics.

The solo began in the sweet spot where scrappy and flashy collide before flying off on a showstopping tangent that found him pounding the front of his over-driven guitar to percussive effect.

"Bring It on Home' to close the show

And with that, he gave the fans one final taste of Led Zeppelin, a crowd=pleasing medley of "Bring It on Home," "Whole Lotta Love" and "Santianna," a sea shanty dating to at least the 1850s.

If "Santianna" seems an odd choice for inclusion in that medley, well, of course it is. But in the moment? It made something close to perfect sense.

And then, it was back into "Whole Lotta Love" - a thrilling finish to a night that captured one of rock's most celebrated artists as a work in progress, driven by a restless spirit to explore new ground without turning his back on the fans who wouldn't mind a little Zeppelin in the mix.

636553324598621974-RobertPlant_rf.022618_007.JPG.c9665ca07121f7588616a6d5bdca92a4.JPG

Photo - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

Robert Plant concert setlist

New World

Turn It Up

The May Queen

Rainbow

That's the Way

All the King's Horses

House of Cards

Gallows Pole

Carry Fire

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You

Little Maggie

Fixin' to Die

Misty Mountain Hop

Encore

In the Mood

Bring It On Home/Whole Lotta Love/Santianna/Whole Lotta Love

https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/02/27/robert-plant-concert-review-led-zeppelin-new-music-phoenix/365334002/

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Photos - Ralph Freso/Special for The Republic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by luvlz2

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Robert Plant Is Tired of Answering the Obvious Question

For fuck's sake: There's no Led Zeppelin reunion in the works. Instead, he's always looking forward.

By Jeff Slate    
https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/music/a19045051/robert-plant-interview-carry-fire-led-zeppelin/

It’s hard being Robert Plant. Wherever he goes, the question hangs in the air: When will Led Zeppelin reform again? Will Led Zeppelin reform?

When I meet the legendary singer in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for lunch at the fancy eatery in his hotel, he quickly does an about-face after entering the restaurant. Whether it’s the preternaturally lithe figure Plant still cuts at 69, causing heads to spin as we enter, or the muzak filling the posh bistro, he’d quickly surveyed the landscape and sensed the vibes weren’t right.

In a flash, we settle onto a couch in a dark corner of the hotel lounge and order espressos—his white—and mineral water. But still, his legend looms large. There’s a bearded 40-something in a far corner, about twenty yards away. As we talk, it’s obvious he’s eavesdropping, at least as best he can.

Perhaps it’s that constant audience that leads Plant to defend his current status as a solo artist; he’s in New York City for a show at the venerable Beacon Theater as part of the 21-date tour in support of his fantastic new album Carry Fire that he teases will be followed by a larger trek this summer. He literally bats away questions about Led Zeppelin, which will mark its 50th anniversary with a newly spiffed-up live album next month and a coffee table book later this year, with a dismissive wave of his hand.

Nearly forty minutes into our encounter, I finally raise the specter of the elephant in every room Plant enters. “I have to ask, because my editors would kill me if I didn't: Do you ever see going back to do the big gig?”

“My suggestion to you is to make sure you wear the right clothes when they kill you,” Plant fires back without missing a beat.

But lest you think Robert Plant is a grumpy old curmudgeon, trading off the blessings of his past glories while indulging in vanity projects, let me put your mind at ease. Plant is charming and warm, happy to talk about anything you throw at him, although doing so at every turn on his own terms.

And he’s earned the right. His solo releases and tours in the '80s and '90s were a clear departure from his Zeppelin days, and his work with his band since 2001, the Sensational Space Shifters, on full display on a new live DVD, the Band of Joy album with Patty Griffin, and his 2007 five-time Grammy winning album Raising Sand with Alison Krauss are all a testament to his restless nature as an artist, as well as the high quality of his solo output.

In fact, Carry Fire, released last fall, is one of the best albums Plant’s ever made. And that includes his work with Led Zeppelin.

So let’s just let him set the record straight, about the past, the present, and the future.
With releases marking the 50th anniversary of Zeppelin, and the most recent reunion with his former bandmates now more than ten years ago, Robert Plant considers Led Zeppelin firmly in the past.

All those projects, well, they’re going to do somebody some good somewhere, and that's good. But you don’t even have to talk to me if all you want to know about is Led Zeppelin. Thirty-eight years ago [Zeppelin’s drummer] John Bonham passed away, that's all I know. That's it. That's the story. You know, Led Zeppelin was an amazing, prolific fun factory for a period of time, but it was three amazing musicians and a singer living in the times. Those times. That's not going to stop me doing what I’m doing now. So that's a headline, or not a headline. It doesn't matter to me.

Instead he prefers to challenge himself and his audience—even if that alienates Led Zeppelin fans.

If I didn't I'd be a whore, and I'm never going to be that. I'm only a singer, and therefore I can get bored really quickly. And if I get bored really quickly, what am I doing nearly 70 years old being bored? No chance. So I move on all the time.

“Immigrant Song” had nothing to do with “That's the Way.” “That's the Way” had nothing to do with “The Crunge.” And that's got nothing to do with “Heaven Knows” or “The Way I Feel.” Some of it has been an attempt at some kind of social commentary, and other stuff was a way to close the door to the dream factory. But I've still got a foot in that door, which is no small thing with the industry in the state it’s in, and I want to use that to play with words and sounds and to find exciting new ways to make music.

The fact of that is, in the last ten or fifteen years, my work has been really well received. And it's very nice to see, and it makes me feel a bit that I’m in the right place, at least for some people, even if other people just don't know about it. I mean, it is basically about opening the blinds. Look, how many thousands of people are there in the airports that I travel through, who are amazed that they see me, yet have no idea of what I'm doing? Not a fucking clue. That's how it goes, and I’m fine with that, especially since the emergency departments of the geriatric wards are filled with people like me, still hanging on, because there was something else before.

He tried making a second album with Alison Krauss, and would love to take another stab at it.

I wouldn't have minded doing it again if we had actually had the impetus. Allison and I tried to make another record with [producer] T. Bone Burnett but the songs weren't of the same standard. And we didn't write songs—it wasn't a songwriting environment—and so there was nothing to be done there. But even now she and I still talk about doing some more stuff. I have a huge collection of amazing American songs—songs I love, songs that would be easier for her to perhaps move into the space to tackle. But there's no need—if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
But surely there’s a lot of money to be made by reuniting with Led Zeppelin, especially in the corporatized world we live in.

Speak for yourself! But what about time? Time! Time is the mighty rearranger. That's what it's all about. If it's easy, and it's not of a great deal of consequence, okay. But when you're in your seventies? You have to be really careful about maybe putting a bit more time into playing bingo, and enjoying the time you have left. For me, my time has got to be filled with joy and endeavor and humor and power and absolute self-satisfaction. That’s not with Led Zeppelin. That’s doing what I’m doing right now, with this band, on this tour.

Look, if substance was of no value, or of no significance, then I wouldn't be trying to do anything. But I believe it is, so this is what I do and all this talk about this or that or the other—you know, selling out the Mojave Desert—it so archaic. It's just such a ridiculous criteria by which to be judged. When you've been there, like me, and you know how shatteringly insular everything becomes, it makes my relationship with this carnival I’m with currently priceless. But to try and make it something to fit in with the a symbol of success just for the hell of it, or to go back to try to relive the glory days, I don't think that's really where I'm at at this time in my life.

But as for what I’ll be doing in five years time, I haven't got the answer. I haven't got a clue.

 

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Robert Plant and Sensational Space Shifters celebrate the now at Orpheum

By Randy Lewis

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-robert-plant-sensational-space-shifters-review-20180303-story.html

"C'mon, y'all!" the singer exhorted, as several of his bandmates circled around him with a fiddle, mandolin and banjo and ripped into a bluegrass-inspired breakdown during a rendition of Lead Belly's dark meditation on capital punishment, "Gallows Pole."

It was the kind of call to action you might expect from a good old boy musician at any concert down South, except the singer here was English rock god Robert Plant, the "down" was downtown (Los Angeles) and it was only as far south as South Broadway.

For nearly two hours, the musical collective — he tellingly remarked at one point that "we're the Sensational Space Shifters," not Rock Superstar & His Band — was mining one of the many strains of rootsy country music that happily isn't restricted to any one country.

Over two sterling albums and a series of tours over the last five years, the Space Shifters have proffered a richly rewarding excursion through sounds of the American blues, English folk, and African and Arabic traditions. The music touches on most facets of Plant's 50-year career, nodding to the Led Zeppelin in the room just often enough to keep the die-hards from taking up an armed revolt.

It was the final stop of their latest tour, and Plant confessed, "It's a little sad to be going home … so we'll be coming back again in about six weeks." Indeed, their next go-round will include a headlining stop at the second Arroyo Seco Festival in June, although who knows yet whether they'll be afforded the time to stretch out the way they did Friday night.

The wide-ranging set began with "New World," one of the tracks from their recent "Carry Fire" album, and one that departs from the realm of mythological matters that occupy much of Plant's time as a songwriter, zeroing in instead on the world around him.

"In songs we praise a happy landing / On yet another virgin shore / Escape the booming world / Embrace the new world / Out here the immigrant takes hold," Plant sang in an earnest salute to the spirit of exploration and expanding horizons.

But he's not blind to the price at which those processes often come: "Across the plains and over mountains / Put flight to all who came before / They're barely human / It's time to move them / And let them kneel before the sword … Oh, oh, oh."

The wordless invocation at the end of the thought is a device he employs often, as he did during Zeppelin's heyday, letting sound and tone say as much or more than words might. There were repeated "oohs," "ahhs," "ohs" and other vocalizings that reminded us just how remarkable an instrument the pliant Plant voice remains, even as he approaches turning 70 in August.

Soon, however, it was back to the mists of time and eternal matters of the heart. In "The May Queen," the opening track from "Carry Fire," he applied layers of nuanced color as he sang of "A heart that never falters / A love that never dies / I linger in the shadow / The dimming of my light."

The Space Shifters are an impressively flexible lot, capable of bracing hard-rock, which they unleashed in a final encore number that blended a couple of generous sections of the Willie Dixon-inspired "Whole Lotta Love" with "Bring It on Home," the latter a Dixon song popularized by Sonny Boy Williamson II before Zeppelin put its chugging spin on both tunes on "Led Zeppelin II."

Guitarists Liam "Skin" Tyson and Justin Adams took turns on the leads and solos, shifting between acoustic and electric instruments, with Adams also occasionally bringing a mandolin into the mix while Tyson broke out his six-string "ganjo," the banjo-guitar hybrid.

Bassist Billy Fuller also moved effortlessly between electric and upright instruments, keyboardist John Baggot drew upon a small arsenal of instruments for varied effects, and drummer David Smith exhibited a mastery of irresistible rhythms that ran from the Bo Diddley-ish beat of the title track from "Carry Fire" to a simple bass drum-gospel-tambourine accompaniment for "The Gallows Pole." He also brought the mighty rock drive of the Zeppelin songbook with "That's the Way," Misty Mountain Hop," "Whole Lotta Love" and "Bring It on Home."

English fiddler Seth Lakeman contributed prominently to several numbers, following his own well-received solo opening set. He appeared equally at home with Celtic-rooted stylings as well as the country-bluegrass numbers, as evidenced by the distinctive Creole-fiddle flavor he brought to "Gallows Pole" and the Arabic modalities required for "Little Maggie" from the Shifters' 2014 "Lullaby … and the Ceaseless Roar" album.

Plant teased those in the audience earnestly committed to hearing him play anything Zeppelin-related. There were hearty cheers when at one point he announced, "I was in a band with a different name" before he quickly added "but not that name."

Likewise near the end, the band also ventured into an atmospheric, ballad-like instrumental intro employing a gently descending chromatic chord progression — but not that descending chromatic chord progression.

As they did during the rest of the show, Plant and his cohorts were chasing what was available to them now, in the moment, not what they could re-create from a day, a week, a year or a half-century ago.

 

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Robert Plant — 2018 Tour Dates

6/8 – Atlanta, GA – Venue TBD w/special guest Elle King
6/10 – Richmond, VA – Virginia Credit Union LIVE! At Richmond Raceway w/special guest Elle King
6/12 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion w/special guest Sheryl Crow
6/13 – Forest Hills, NY – Forest Hills Stadium w/special guest Sheryl Crow #
6/15 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage w/special guest Sheryl Crow
6/17 – Chicago, IL – Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion w/special guest Jon Langford
6/19 – Vail, CO – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater w/special guest Seth Lakeman ###
6/21 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre w/special guest Jim James Solo Acoustic
6/23 – Stateline, NV – Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena w/special guest Los Lobos
6/24 – Pasadena, CA – Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival
6/26 – Troutdale, OR – Edgefield w/special guest Lucinda Williams
6/27 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park Amphitheatre w/special guest Lucinda Williams
6/29 – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver International Jazz Festival

## – w/special guest Seth Lakeman

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1 hour ago, sam_webmaster said:

Robert Plant — 2018 Tour Dates

6/8 – Atlanta, GA – Venue TBD w/special guest Elle King
6/10 – Richmond, VA – Virginia Credit Union LIVE! At Richmond Raceway w/special guest Elle King
6/12 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion w/special guest Sheryl Crow
6/13 – Forest Hills, NY – Forest Hills Stadium w/special guest Sheryl Crow #
6/15 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage w/special guest Sheryl Crow
6/17 – Chicago, IL – Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion w/special guest Jon Langford
6/19 – Vail, CO – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater w/special guest Seth Lakeman ###
6/21 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre w/special guest Jim James Solo Acoustic
6/23 – Stateline, NV – Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena w/special guest Los Lobos
6/24 – Pasadena, CA – Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival
6/26 – Troutdale, OR – Edgefield w/special guest Lucinda Williams
6/27 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park Amphitheatre w/special guest Lucinda Williams
6/29 – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver International Jazz Festival

## – w/special guest Seth Lakeman

Atlanta 😀🎸👍

thanks Sam.

For Atlanta Venue my guess would be either The Tabernacle,  Chastain Ampitheater, Center Stage, Verizon Wireless, Philips Arena or The Buckhead Theater (formerly Roxy), as The Fox Theater has Hamilton (play) and The Variety Plsyhouse has Royal Blood and Dead & Co at Lakewood. 

R😎

Edited by reids

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10 hours ago, luvlz2 said:

^^Cool beans reids!

Yes, indeed. Thx. 😎🎸👍

My top choices are probably The Tabernacle or Chastain Amphitheater.

R😀

Edited by reids
Omitted top choice

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Yay - he will be coming around here!!!!

 

I think I'll be home in mid-June... 

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