Robert Plant celebrates his 73rd birthday today. The legendary Led Zeppelin frontman was born on August 20, 1948. 20 years later Plant joined Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page’s new band, Led Zeppelin, along with drummer John Bonham and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones.
The extremely talented lineup would go on to become one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Plant’s powerful, high register vocals soared above the tight and explosive rhythm section of Bohnam and Jones and often linked up with Page’s potent guitar playing. Sadly, Bonham died in 1980 from complications due to alcohol and the band declined to continue without him.
The 1980s saw Robert embarking on a successful solo career, spurred on by friend drummer Phil Collins whi would perform with Plant. The singer also teamed up with Jeff Beck and his former Zep bandmate Jimmy Page in a supergroup called the Honeydrippers. Additionally, Robert and Jimmy would also tour as Page and Plant in the ‘90s.
While Plant’s post-Zeppelin collaborations saw the singer mostly sticking with his fellow rock gods, 2007 saw Robert teaming up with a star from the bluegrass/country world, Alison Krauss. The duo would record an album with T Bone Burnett titled Raising Sand which arrived on October 23, 2007.
The LP contained a rootsy mix of R&B, blues, folk and country of obscure material from highly influential musicians like Townes Van Zandt, Doc Watson, Allen Toussaint, Tom Waits, the Everly Brothers, Gene Clark of The Byrds and more. The critically acclaimed record garnered the duo a number of Grammys in 2009 including the coveted Album Of The Year.
But before the Grammy wins, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss toured Raising Sand extensively, including a stop at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on June 18, 2008. The 22-song set and encore featured Plant and Krauss leading their band — guitarists T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller, multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan, bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Jay Bellerose — through a number of songs from Raising Sand including “Rich Woman” by Lil Millet and His Creoles, Sam Phillips’ “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us,” Tom Wait’s “Trampled Rose,” “Nothin’” by Townes Van Zandt, “Please Read The Letter” from the Page and Plant catalog and set closer, the Everly Brothers’ “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On).”
The set also features songs from Plant’s Zeppelin days like “Black Country Woman” and “The Battle Of Evermore” as well as his solo hit “In The Mood.” T Bone Burnett’s “Bon Temps Rouler” and “Shut It Tight” appear mid-set. The encore kicks off with The Staple Singers’ “Don’t Knock” followed by Johnny Horton’s “(I’m a) One Woman Man.” Robert and Alison fittingly wrap up the evening with Raising Sand’s closing track, “Your Long Journey,” by Doc Watson.
To celebrate Robert Plant’s birthday listen to the famed singer perform with Alison Krauss in 2008 below for this edition of Full Show Friday:
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Rich Woman
- Leave My Woman Alone
- Black Dog
- Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
- Through the Morning, Through the Night
- It’s Goodbye and So Long to You
- Fortune Teller
- Black Country Woman
- In the Mood
- Bon Temps Rouler
- Shut It Tight
- Trampled Rose
- Green Pastures
- Down to the River to Pray
- Killing the Blues
- The Battle of Evermore
- Please Read the Letter
- Gone Gone Gone
- Don’t Knock
- (I’m a) One Woman Man
- Your Long Journey
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss recently announced they have another album on the way and plan to tour in 2022 with dates to be announced soon. Head here for more info on the new collaborative LP and tour.