Robert Plant: Band of Joy  

Staranza/Rounder Records

Even in its hardest rocking days, Led Zeppelin often toyed with a bit of acoustic folkie twang now and then. Since Zep's demise, legendary lead vocalist Robert Plant has explored a number of musical directions, including 2002's esoteric but underappreciated Dreamland. Recently hanging around Nashville, he cut the multiple Grammy winner Raising Sand with Alison Krauss. Taking that success one step further, Plant has recruited Music City's alt-country guru Buddy Miller to steer the ship. In Miller's hands, Band of Joy finally encapsulates all the diverse musical interests Plant has toyed with over the years into a captivating, almost magical auditory experience. There's a bit of country, a spattering of traditional folk, some world music sounds, and lot of perfect instrumental accompaniment for one of the greatest voices in the history of modern music. (5 out of 5 stars)

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