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

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32 minutes ago, Mook said:

Thought he was brilliant on Jools Holland last night.

Yep, and on Friday's extended show we'll get another song and an interview, looking forward to the new album dropping on my doormat on Friday too..

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Watch: Robert Plant Performs from "Carry Fire" on BBC Two's "Later... With Jools Holland"
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

         Robert Plant and his band the Sensational Spaceshifters were guests on the Later… With Jools Holland live show on BBC Two last night. They performed two songs from the new album Carry Fire, out this Friday: "Bones of Saints" and "New World…" You can watch them perform both below till November 8, and tune in to BBC Two again this Friday, October 13, at 11:05 PM for the full, one-hour episode of Later for more. The show calls it "a set of songs that combines some haunting tribal rhythms with Plant's customary inventive flair and sense of urgency." For additional details, visit bbc.co.uk.

    Plant and the band performed songs from Carry Fire on BBC Radio 6 Music live from the BBC's famed Maida Vale studios last Friday. He also spoke with Lauren Laverne about the new album and more. You can listen again at bbc.co.uk/6music.

    To reserve a copy of Carry Fire, head to iTunes or the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl pre-orders include an exclusive print, an instant download of the album tracks "The May Queen," "Bones of Saints," and "Bluebirds Over the Mountain," and a download of the complete album on release day.



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Robert Plant, Party of One. (With Friends, Too.)

On his new solo album, "Carry Fire," the onetime Led Zeppelin frontman explores "grooves and moods," from the blues to North African rhythms.

By Jonathan RIngen Oct 11, 2017


For Robert Plant's new solo album, "Carry Fire," the onetime Led Zeppelin frontman focused on "grooves and moods."

Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

A few years ago, Robert Plant found himself suddenly overcome with an urge to return to his roots. 'I know I'm emphatically British," he said. "But I didn't realize how much that was true until I'd been away for a while."


He had been living in Austin, Tex., with his girlfriend at the time, the singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, who was also his bandmate on his 2010 album and tour, "Band of Joy." And, for a time, he relished the opportunity to absorb American life and culture. "The hospitality and friendships and initiation into Americana - not just music - was marvelous," he said.


The process began several years earlier, when he teamed with the bluegrass great Alison Kraus for the Nashville-recorded 2007 album "Raising Sand," probably the most acclaimed and successful project of his post-Led Zeppelin career. (He last played with his old band 10 years ago this December, during a one-off gig at the O2 arena in London that made headlines around the world.) The pair won an album of the year Grammy, and the LP went platinum; along the way, he discovered an entire world of Appalachian music and the joys of vocal harmonies, which were never a big part of his musical repertoire.


"It was one of the most rewarding, classic periods of my life,' he said. " And it was just such a" - he paused to search for the right word - "tear to leave America and return to Britain."


Mr. Plant was calling from the lobby of the Frome Memorial Theater in Somerset, England, which was built just after the First World War and is within easy driving distance of his house in Shropshire, near the Welsh border. Since returning to the United States, he has lived, as he put it, "only eight miles from where I learned how to speak French and do geometry." Affable and chatty, he cheerfully recounted tales from his pat lives: as the golden-maned, howling frontman of Led Zeppelin; in partnership with the Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Paage as Page and Plant; a foray into '80s synth-rock; and the rootsy solo path he has forged over the last two decades.


After several years spent living in America, Mr. Plant returned to England and found a different creative spark. Tom Jamieson for The New York Times


On the theater stage, his band the Sensational Space Shifters - an eclectic crew of British musicians, several of whom he's worked with on and off since the mid-2000s - was running through a mix of solo material and reconfigured Led Zeppelin classics. The group was deep in rehearsals for a tour behind Mr. Plant's latest album, "Carry Fire," out on Friday: a swirling mix of deep blues, mountain music, North African rhythms and Zeppelin-heavy weight.


"Some people don't get it," said Justin Adams, one of the band's two guitarists, and a specialist in Middle Eastern and African sounds. "Why are you interested in the blues and devotional music from Pakistan? It's not out of geographical interest, particularly. It's about transporting music that really takes you somewhere - a beat that makes you feel a slight sense of dread and foreboding."


"I tried with this record to make melodies really, really important," Mr. Plant said. Tom Jamieson for The New York Times


In Shropshire, Mr. Plant is part of the tapestry, the same way Bruce Springsteen maintains anonymity in his slice of New Jersey. He said his decision to return wasn't connected to his relationship with Ms. Griffin, "It was my own inability to deal with the rabid attention that was paid to me - and there was kind of no way to hide it."


So he returned to the land of his birth, gathered up the band and got back to work, first with the 2014 album "lullaby and ... The Ceaseless Roar," and now with "Carry Fire," both of which largely comprise original songs, as opposed to the covers he emphasized with Ms. Kraus and the Band of Joy. With the Sensational Space Shifters, Mr. Plant embraces a modern, digital approach distinct from the painstaking analog perfectionism of Led Zeppelin. Various combinations of the band - which includes the keyboard player John Baggott, a veteran of trip-hop acts like Massive Attack and Tricky - split off to write and record interesting chunks of music, which are then woven together in the studio.


Mr. Plant said his former Led Zeppelin band mates are "enthusiastic toward each other" and devoted to their own projects. Tom Jamieson for The New York Times


"We chop the stuff up and see how it falls into grooves and moods," Mr. Plant said. "That's basically the whole signature of our music: grooves and moods." As the tracks cohere into songs, he mines a notebook he's scribbled in for years for lyrics: "I have a lot of lyrics, and if they're not interrelated they can be," he said. The vocal melodies are also all Mr. Plant, delivered in a haunting, otherworldly mode. "I tried with this record to make melodies really, really important," he said. "And to use celestial backing vocals to create a different R.P."


The result is a heady, autumnal record, blending Mr. Plant's early influences (the folk musicians Bert Jansch and John Fahey), blues-fueled riffs, Berber sounds and Bristol trip-hop sonics. Many of the songs, including the title track, are love ballads tinged with fables. In contrast, "Carving Up the World Again...A Wall Not a Fence" is a Sun Records-ish stomper spiked with a curling, Middle Eastern guitar solo that delves into post-"Brexit" and President Donald Trump discourse. Taking part of its title from a quote by Mr. Trump, Mr. Plant takes aim at jingoism and the refugee crisis. "There's progress in many areas of humanity, but  it's juxtaposed with doors slamming and pain," he said.


The sole cover, of an old rockabilly tune called "Bluebirds Over the Mountain," gets new energy from a fractured electronic beat and the twinned vocals of Mr. Plant and the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde.


Mr. Plant is delighted that there's still an audience for his music and a major record label, Nonesuch, invested in releasing it into the world. But that's about as much thought as he puts into who might be out there listening. He emphatically does not delve into Spotify data to learn more. "No, I don't give a hoot," he says. "I couldn't even think about it. I don't think I write to suit anybody - I just write to suit my mood."


As for his old band, Mr. Plant said he sees Mr. Page and the bassist John Paul Jones "from time to time, and it's very civil." The three were thrown back together in 2016 during a high-profile copyright lawsuit over the song "Stairway to Heaven," which the band won, but Mr. Plant doesn't seem eager to relive that: "We're enthusiastic toward each other, and each of us does our own things, and that's how it is."


When Led Zeppelin ended in 1980, Mr. Plant set out to live a more human-scale life. To the public annoyance of his old bandmates, he's been emphatic about not reviving the band for a full-scale tour, and when asked about it he tends to make an artistic argument about wanting to resist nostalgia. (Fans of "Raising Sand have more reason to hope: "Alison and I talk about it all the time.") But there might be another, simpler, reason - maybe there just isn't any payday, no matter how vast, worth more than his carefully cultivated life?


"Yeah, that's true," he said. "I know where it's at for me. I'm in an incredibly good place. For a guy like me, who was a singer in band, who played no instrument - but just being eager to learn and experience more and more music? I've just been incredibly fortunate. I'm in the middle of my own joy.





Edited by luvlz2
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After watching that One Show interviewer, have to admire Plant. At 69, still such a verve for life and doesn't take himself too seriously.

He's a multi-millionaire but still plays fives and goes for a pint with the boys.

Plus he stays in Britain and hasn't jumped ship to save on tax.

Nice one, Percy!



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You know how sometimes, the more you know about your favorite artists personally, the less you like them? I am overjoyed that this is not the case with Robert! I read the article in the NYTimes today and he seems so full of life and not jaded at all. I am truly disappointed that he isn't taking his tour to my area. 

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14 hours ago, anniemouse said:

Thank you for posting those clips and interviews.

You bet! I have to say I am really missing Deborah J. and Patrycja right now!!! I know this thread would be overflowing with articles and pictures etc. if they were here!!!

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4 hours ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

You know how sometimes, the more you know about your favorite artists personally, the less you like them? I am overjoyed that this is not the case with Robert! I read the article in the NYTimes today and he seems so full of life and not jaded at all. I am truly disappointed that he isn't taking his tour to my area. 

It did say on R. Plant's website that more dates would be added, at least it did when tickets went on sale a couple of weeks ago.

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2 hours ago, Mook said:

I watched the 6 Music gig on the iPlayer last night & I thought his reworking of In The Light was absolutely amazing, just an joy to listen to.

What is And What Should Never Be was grooving. Loved that one.  Didn't like In The Light at all.

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A friend of mine watched the 6 music gig online and has previously had no interest in either Robert or Zep. He watched all the gig and loved the songs and performance. I may not have converted him but at least its a start.

I am awaiting the cd and vinyl delivery as well.

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