Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Drift Into Sandy Amphitheater

We know that opposite genres like country and rock can successfully meld into music that appeals to fans in both camps. But what if we extend our reach to the edges of those genres? Do heavy metal and bluegrass mix? 

So, when Robert Plant, the frontman of the legendary ‘70s heavy metal band Led Zeppelin, and Alison Krauss, the multi-Grammy-winning queen of bluegrass, joined forces to make a record, its success seemed uncertain. Would this experimental project take off and soar to new heights or would it crash like a lead balloon?

Plant and Krauss are musical masters in their respective genres, styles that are both anchored in American roots. Led Zeppelin emerged from the blues, albeit in an electrified and psychedelic-ized format. Krauss’s bluegrass, meanwhile, blends country and traditional Appalachian old-time folk music. 

After Plant and Krauss discovered a shared love of long-forgotten songs in styles that influenced their early passions for music, coming together didn’t seem like that far a reach. They first met in 2004 at a tribute show in Cleveland celebrating the music of Lead Belly, an early pioneer of blues and folk music (both ingredients in heavy metal and bluegrass). Their shared love for mountain music icon Ralph Stanley helped them cross the bridge between the two opposing music styles and laid the groundwork for future collaboration.

In 2007, Plant and Krauss linked up with producer T Bone Burnett who selected some of those long-forgotten old songs which he believed worked well as new duets. The end result was the critically acclaimed rock-meets-roots album Raising Sand. The multi-platinum selling record won six Grammys including Album of the Year (2008) and Song of the Year for “Please Read the Letter.” 

Over the past 14 years, Plant and Krauss stockpiled ideas for songs they could someday perform together. In November 2021, the dynamic duo released the much-anticipated follow-up album Raise The Roof. This blend of traditions and styles extends this remarkable collaboration in new and thrilling directions. The album reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Rock, Americana/Folk, Bluegrass and Independent charts. 

Plant and Krauss are hitting the road with a full band including guitarist JD McPherson. The Raise The Roof tour includes a stop at the Sandy Amphitheater on Aug. 30, 2022. The setlist from previous shows on the tour includes a selection of great songs from Raising Sand and new singles from Raise The Roof, like a cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Can’t Let Go” and the Plant/Burnett-penned “High and Lonesome.” (Alert: They’ve reportedly added a few Led Zeppelin songs to the setlist too!)

Don’t miss this roof-raising (OK, it’s an outdoor amphitheater) master class of a concert to see these two musical icons come together to perform some great Americana classics and (fingers-crossed) rock out to some legendary Led Zeppelin favorites as an added bonus.

In addition to playing with Plant and Krauss’s band, McPherson will open the show with his own music.McPherson, a roots rocker from Oklahoma, blends the retro with the modern to create great songs like the rockabilly “North Side Gal” or The Doors-style rocker “Lucky Penny.”

  • Who: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss with special guest JD McPherson
  • What: Raising The Roof Tour
  • Where: Sandy Amphitheater
  • When: Aug. 30, 2022
  • Tickets and info: sandyamp.com

See the rest of the Red Butte season lineup, and read more of John Nelson’s coverage of the 2022 Red Butte season. And while you’re here, subscribe and get six issues of Salt Lake magazine, your guide to the best of life in Utah.

John Nelson
John Nelsonhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

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