Band of Joy
The former Led Zeppelin singer has traversed varied folk and Americana territories since his work with classic-rock mainstay Led Zeppelin ended in 1980; even the 1970 release Led Zeppelin III carried washes of country and folk. Band of Joy was a pre-Zeppelin band Robert formed in 1967, and now he resurrects the band name with a new lineup, including Nashville studio stalwarts Darrell Scott, Byron House and Buddy Miller, who doubles as co-producer while bringing the rumbling guitar tones he contributed to Robert’s collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. While touching upon Led Zep’s more pastoral moments and Raising Sand’s rootsy variety, Robert avoids rehashing his former glories. “Silver Rider” and “You Can’t Buy My Love” come closest to retracing his work with Alison, with guest Patty Griffin providing a soft, near-ethereal foil to Robert’s grainy vocals. He covers the traditional “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” (also covered by Willie Nelson on his recent album, Country Music), while “Falling in Love Again” features Darrell Scott and Buddy Miller joining Robert in a Southern gospel-influenced sound.