WILMINGTON — A rock legend and bluegrass country icon will make their Port City debut this spring.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are touring in support of their second album, “Raise the Roof,” and will stop at Live Oak Bank Pavilion on May 10. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
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It was an unlikely pair from the start: Two artists from different spectrums of music combined into something ethereal and award-winning.
Plant’s wails — the yin to master guitarist Jimmy Page’s yang during their Led Zeppelin years — have become a rallying cry in rock music. His journey onto the rock scene began in the early sixties with Band of Joy, an outfit he resurrected in 2010 and continues to perform with.
Yet, in duets with Krauss, Plant’s voice is tamped down a notch, a gravelly force that seemingly spoons her angelic timbre.
Krauss gained popularity in the ’90s as the frontwoman for the Americana string band Union Station, for which she also played violin. She garnered more attention in the early aughts with the Grammy-winning soundtrack for the motion picture “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” produced by T Bone Burnett.
Krauss and Plant first collaborated in 2004 during a tribute to blues great Lead Belly before pairing up with Burnett a few years later to release 2007’s “Raising Sand.” The project won six Grammys, including Album of the Year, and resulted in a sold-out tour.
Burnett told The New York Times in 2021: “A funny thing happens with them. When the two of them sing, it creates a third voice, a third part in their harmonies when there are only two parts. You know, one plus one equals two unless you’re counting, say, drops of rain. Then, one plus one could equal one, or one plus one could equal a fine mist. Their voices are in that relative space where they sing together and it creates a fine mist.”
The trio got together again in 2019 to record the followup, “Raise the Roof,” in Nashville studio, Sound Emporium. The 12-track record includes covers, such as Arizona indie-outfit Calexico’s “Quattro,” The Everly Brothers’ “The Price of Love” and Allen Toussaint’s “Trouble With My Lover.”
It also features originals, such as “High and Lonesome,” a song that was born from a jam session and the vault of Plant’s lyrical stylings.
The album has been nominated for three Grammys in 2023 (awards take place Feb. 5): Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song for “High and Lonesome,” and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Going Where the Lonely Go” (a song first recorded in the 1980s by Merle Haggard).
It also ranked on the No. 1 spot on the Americana radio chart for 21 consecutive weeks last year.
Plant and Krauss are embarking on a U.S. tour this year in support — called Raising the Roof Tour. Stops also include festivals, such as New Orleans Jazz on April 28 and Florida’s Echoland on May 11.
Tickets to Wilmington’s show open to the general public at 10 a.m., Feb. 3. Special guest JD McPherson, a rockabilly and R&B artist out of Oklahoma, will be on the bill as well. He will join Krauss and Plant onstage along with drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Dennis Crouch, string player Stuart Duncan, and Viktor Krauss on keyboards and guitar
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