Raising Sand

Raising Sand

by Robert Plant, Alison Krauss
4.1 73


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Raising Sand

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: 0011661907522
catalogNumber: 619075
Rank: 2402

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 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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ahab More than 1 year ago
One of the best duet albums ever. Really levels Robert out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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HubertRK More than 1 year ago
This is exactly the type of music you would hear if you found yourself one night at a roadhouse off a lonesome Texas highway. A roadhouse often visited by gypsies, fallen women, couples on the verge of breaking up, and a trucker who may or may not have killed a man. Which is to say that this album is eerie and sad and warm and all together AMAZING. It's folk and blues and a little rock (natch, it's Robert Plant) but it mostly just defies all the genres because it's so perfect. I love albums that sound like they're telling a story, where each song feels connected to the next. This one feels that way all the way through. I think that has a lot to do with T-Bone Burnette, who produced it and played guitar and bass on it. Most of the songs have that really heart-breaking wobbly bass line that evokes the creepy roadhouse image. Allison Krauss and Robert Plant sound like they come from the same family. Like a father and daughter duet. They sound incredible together. They're so well blended that it's hard to tell sometimes who's taking the lead and who's singing harmony. And the musicianship is some of the best I've heard.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and different music for both of these artists. Dreamy music with a lot of airy space. I thought is was produced by Daniel Lanois, because it has that type of feel. If you are looking for something unique and listenable, this is it. Excellent vocals from both.
moochieg More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the cd very much. A good mix of music, and I would definitely recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I "thought" I loved anything Alison Krauss sings this CD definitely changed my mind. The CD comes across as a battle of two very strong styles. I could not even listen through one playing and will never listen again. VERY disappointed . . .
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.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I bought this when it came out and have listened seveal times before making a final decision on its merits. I think this may be what is sometimes called a producer's record. T Bone Burnett has over embellished most tracks with too much echo and reverb. The final track, My Long Journey, shows what Plant and Krauss might have done with starker arrangements. By no means is this a failure but, if there is another collabaration, I hope the participants will take it in a simpler direction.
Troutgirl More than 1 year ago
It was better than I expected.
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.
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
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
As good as it gets! Great work from all involved. This music gets better with each listening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard "Rich Woman" from this cd when I was out cruising in my sports car last summer. I loved the song immediately because it was Robert Plant (anything by him is ACES in my book!) I bought the "Raising Sand" cd a few days later and it has become my favorite cd to this day! I listen to "Raising Sand" almost every day and it NEVER leaves the #1 cd player spot in the house stereo. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss together are just amazing and this cd is a real treat. Granted, it's not the Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin sound, but he's great no matter what he does. Alison Krauss, well, she's just a great singer. What a team! Buy this cd!