Raising Sand

Raising Sand

by Robert Plant, Alison Krauss

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record)

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There are duet albums, and there are duo albums; the shimmering Raising Sand, which unites Robert Plant with Alison Krauss, is emphatically the latter. There's no coy interplay between these two stars, no he-said-she-said routines. Instead, the album presents two artists laboring creatively (and producer T Bone Burnett surely plays a big role, as well) to create a third, distinct thing. The magic of this encounter is that it draws the two out of their comfort zones: Imagine America's bluegrass sweetheart harmonizing on Benny Spellman's New Orleans R&B classic "Fortune Teller," or the Led Zep frontman wrapping his rock-god pipes around Mel Tillis's "Stick With Me, Baby." Or imagine either of them fronting an eerie, Eastern European-flavored treatment of Sam Philips's "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us." Yes, there are plenty of surprises here. Not the least is the simpatico blend of the principals' voices. Krauss is as luminous as ever, finding new colors for her exquisitely controlled instrument, but Plant amazes with his low-key, knowing, and indeed humble performance. Acoustic settings aside, Raising Sand is not "The Battle of Evermore" stretched over 13 tracks. Keynotes come from later in Plant's career -- the haunting, Gene Clark-penned "Polly Come Home" is sonic kin to Plant's mid-'80s hit "Big Log," while the preponderance of rockabilly flavor suggests a midlife reminiscence of the Honeydrippers (see their churning version of the Everlys' "Gone Gone Gone"). The artfully off-the-cuff production by Burnett gains additional earthiness from ringers such as Marc Ribot and Mike Seeger, but it's hard to think about the instrumentation when Plant's and Krauss's voices are dancing together in close harmony.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/23/2007
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661907515
catalogNumber: 619075
Rank: 7308

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Plant   Primary Artist,Vocals
Alison Krauss   Primary Artist,Fiddle,Vocals
Norman Blake   Acoustic Guitar
Mike Seeger   Autoharp
Marc Ribot   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Electric Guitar
T Bone Burnett   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,6-string bass
Dennis Crouch   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Patrick Warren   Keyboards,Pump Organ,Toy Piano
Jay Bellerose   Drums
Riley Baugus   Banjo

Technical Credits

Mel Tillis   Composer
Gene Clark   Composer
Jimmy Page   Composer
Robert Plant   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Don Everly   Composer
Phil Everly   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
T Bone Burnett   Producer
Milton Campbell   Composer
Sam Phillips   Composer
Rowland Salley   Composer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Rosa Lee Watson   Composer
Steven Jurgensmeyer   Art Direction
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Naomi Neville   Composer
Dorothy LaBostrie   Composer
Paul Ackling   Guitar Techician
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Stacy Parrish   Engineer
A.D. Watson   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Raising Sand 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been listening to this ever since it came out. My opinion hasn't so much as changed as it has been burnished -- I honestly feel that I, the listener, am a piece of old tarnished metal, and that these two voices just patiently polished and polished and polished away until they made everything shine. Granted, "Raising Sand" isn't the flashiest thing ever recorded. Both Krauss' "New Favorite" and Plant's "Dreamland" display more fire and energy. But that's not the point here. It's the blending, the stirring, the sanding away and repainting and varnishing and stripping it back ... OK, the metaphors may be getting away from me, but the point is that this album is all about process. It sounds slightly different every time I hear it, and I must be approaching a hundred listenings by now. I can hear their version of "Killing the Blues" six or seven times in a row and pick up nuanced and different inflections every time. One thing about a great vocal duo: There are times you can't quite figure out who's singing lead and who's singing harmony. It's so danged slippery here, so oddly mixed up, that it's just hypnotic. This is an amazing album. But not the kind that hits you on the temple the first time through. Live with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this album with no preconceived notions on what it would, or should sound like. It had been recommended to me by a close friend who thought I would like it. I was not familiar with Alison Krauss and have never purchased any of Plant's post Zep works (pity on me). I can say that this album is growing on me. I've listened to it twice now, and it strikes a nerve that surprises and comforts and wants to hear more. I love the way their voices coincide with each other. "Please read the Letter" is the seventh song and is the first one where Plant's voice is the more dominate one you hear. Alison's voice is angelic, as Plant is truly capable of, too. Now I'll have to pursue more of Alison's music to become more familiar with her. This is a very "Pretty" album, musically. Don't take it to the gym for a workout, but with morning coffee, and the sun streaming in through the window, this album pleases!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the Barnes and Noble critic got it right in saying that the merging of Plant and Krauss (and T. Bone's production)yields something very new and distinct. Don't buy this CD expecting to hear the Robert Plant you know from Led Zepplin days. His understated performance, blending harmonies with Krauss is not only surprising, the result is sometimes haunting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this CD because I heard "Gone, Gone, Gone" and realy enjoyed this performance. I was initially disappointed by the rest of the selections. However, as I listened more and without distractions, I began to appreciate the quality of the whole CD. I didn't think I would like the slow almost morose ballads but now they all just blow me away and I want more. What a great and moving final selection!
Nittany1 More than 1 year ago
Hard to believe that the frontman of the great Zep could blend with the mellow, laid back Alison but boy does it work!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The harmonies of these two were wonderful. Combined with the instrumentals it makes lovely background music for that glass of wine, cozy fire and a good book. I have listened to it many times and enjoy it each time. More bluegrass harmony than rock and roll so for those who want rock they will have to look elsewhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this CD for my dad for Christmas, but I liked it so much that I ended up making a copy for myself too! Alison Krauss has a beautiful voice. This CD definitely deserves all the nominations and awards it has received.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Robert Plant fan and this blew me away. It was a very unexpected surprise. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss harmonized so well together and I enjoyed the songs. I don't usually listen to folk/country and I really loved this CD. Bravo to the two of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If there were a "sixth" star to give this album....I would have given it. As a performing blues musician -- and a songwriter, I will be forever haunted by the production of this album. Nice layers, earthy tone, and sweet harmonies make this a spectacular find. I was hypnotized from the first second to the last. I hope there is a sequel to this album..I am floored. When most new music is garbage...something like this comes out and really makes your day.
Ahab More than 1 year ago
One of the best duet albums ever. Really levels Robert out.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love both of these voices AND they are glorious together. Unfortunately, there is only one song that is the slightest bit interesting. All I could think was, "SING, ROBERT, SING!!" Where are the songs? It is an incredibly boring waste of time. I am so sorry that someone wasted this much voice on these uninteresting songs. Please, try again!!
JohnM More than 1 year ago
Being a huge Allison Krauss fan, and enjoying the collaboration between rock and country of late, I was looking forward to this album. I caught the performance at the Grammy awards (excellent song and performance!), and was intrigued by both their accolades and the production of T Bone Burnett. So, a purchase was eminent! The CD is a vast mix of songs and tempos; not all to my liking. For me, the standouts were "Rich Woman" (excellent on all accounts!), "Fortune Teller," "Gone, Gone, Gone," "Stick with me Baby," and a great interpretation of "Please Read The Letter." Other songs I simply pass over as too slow and unenjoyable (but that is one man's opinion!). Also, I did not feel the album partnered the two singers well. Songs are generally one or the other as lead, and there does not seem to be a good sense of mutual collaboration between the two (or at least from what the listener can hear). I missed the real Allison Krauss on this album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like both artists for what they do in their respective fields of music. With that said I was very disappoited with the 2 together. They both sound as if they are not on the same page. T Bone Bennett tries hard to save this cd with a good production but the bottom line is this cd should be left off your list 2 stars at best
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love every track on this CD! I've always loved Robert Plant and of course Alison Kraus is great, but the two together are better than I could ever have imagined. This covers a wide range of styles and I just keep listening to it over and over. Definitely recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As good as it gets! Great work from all involved. This music gets better with each listening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent production, singing and playing. Great selection of songs. The perfect CD to accompany a fine glass of wine and a nice easy chair - just let yourself drift away with the melodies and beautiful harmonies.
chetchotard More than 1 year ago
A few of the tracks are nothing short of amazing-Killing the Blues, Please Read the Letter, Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, Track #12. The CD is worth it just for those. The rest take a little more work to appreciate with a few tracks not so great. Overall, I'm very happy with the CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best vocal collaboration in last few years. Excellent production. Album of the year!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this CD when its in a mix of others. There are some great fun songs on it. I don't care for as much when I listen to it all the way through by its self.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Listening to this album is a delicious and soul soothing experience. The musicianship is insightfully stunning. As with all great works of art, this album is one to be treasured for years to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Contains a mixture of fast tempo tunes and songs that may cause reflection. Greatly enjoy playing while driving.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here are two voices that I certainly would not have put together, but I am glad producer T-Bone Burnett did. Several of the songs on this disc hold you spellbound as each artist delivers a rich and often times haunting performance. My favorite tracks are Gone, Gone, Gone, Rich Woman and the irrepressible Fortune Teller.