Plant, Kraus and Prine Kill the Blues

I was driving home from work last week, listening to Sirius Disorder while Howard was on commercial (sorry, I’m addicted), and was thrilled to hear a great song that I’d only previously heard coming from the raspy voice of John Prine. But this time it was emanating softly and sweetly from the mouths of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

It turns out that Plant and Nashville bluegrass cutie Krauss holed up with producer T-Bone Burnett for an album of covers. They take on a broad sampling of some of their favorite tunes, ranging from the Everly Brothers to Tom Waits. The album, Raising Sand, will be out October 23rd. This should be good. Check out the track list (with songwriter in parenths):

“Rich Woman” (Dorothy LaBostrie/McKinley Millet)
“Killing the Blues” (Rowland Salley)
“Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us” (Sam Phillips)
“Polly Come Home” (Gene Clark)
“Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)” (Phil and Don Everly)
“Through the Morning, Through the Night” (Gene Clark)
“Please Read The Letter” (Robert Plant/Michael Lee/Jimmy Page/Charlie Jones)
“Trampled Rose” (Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan)
“Fortune Teller” (Naomi Neville)
“Stick With Me Baby” (Mel Tillis)
“Nothin'” (Townes Van Zandt)
“Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson” (Milt Campbell)
“Your Long Journey” (A.D. Watson and Rosa Lee Watson)

The song I heard in the car was “Killing the Blues”. Silly me, not knowing that “Killing the Blues” isn’t a Prine-penned song at all, but rather a 1977 composition by Rowland Salley, who went on to play bass in Chris Isaak’s band. A great song, cool lyrics

PRE-ORDER Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand on the Rounder Records Site or Amazon.


  • Eric

    Nice one! Didn’t Salley actually play guitar for Isaak? Maybe not. Shawn Colvin also does an incredible version of “Killing The Blues” on her album “Cover Girl”. What a fantastic song. Thanks Pete – as usual.

  • Rob

    First John Paul Jones worked with the great young folks in Nickel Creek (which I was lucky enough to see in a small club) as the Mutual Admiration Society, now Robert Plant with Alison Krauss. I’m really looking forward to hearing how this works out.

  • Thierry

    Colvin also does a great version of Judee Sill’s “There’s A Rugged Road” on that one. And I could listen to Krauss sing all day…

  • jazzmaster

    I think Alison Kraus is actually an angel in a woman’s body… What a beautiful voice! And… Robert Plant… Duh. What can you say about him? I mean… What? Seriously!


    Thanks, Pete. I’m really looking forward to this album!

  • Eric

    Yeah, even though I’m a huge Colvin fan, “Cover Girl” has always been one of my favorites of hers. Nothing against her own songwriting skills, but it’s such a great collection of tunes. Had the pleasure of seeing her on that tour in a small venue, with Larry Klein and Steuart Smith backing her (no drums – saw that lineup twice, and all the musical holes were filled – none necessary), with David Gray opening; Shawn, as well as Ms. Krauss, is a real gift.

  • Malchus

    I saw the same Colvin tour with David Gray opening. She was phenomenal. That type of setting, her and two accompanists, is her forte. And David Gray just blew me away. I rushed out and bought his first two records after that night. I was so pleased that he finally achieved a commercial breakthrough years later.

    Hey, Pete, thanks for posting the Prine song.

  • Dan

    Both of these artists are great, but they have a tendency to do mood pieces when left to their own devices. Based on the mp3s that you posted, it seems that they both reinforced that tendency in each other.

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