While he was socializing after a recent show at the 600-capacity Brooklyn Bowl (yes, a concert venue and bowling alley), Plant's fans took to social media to gossip about why the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer would opt to play such a small club when he could sell out the likes of London's 20,000-plus seat O2 Arena.
(He and Led Zeppelin did just that in December 2007 when they got together to play at the tribute to music industry titan Ahmet Ertegun.)"We went bowling there one night, and one of the club managers said, 'We'd love to have you play here,'" says Space Shifters guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson. A, Robert said, 'You know, we can go and do it.' So it was sort of impromptu."That type of spontaneous schedule change is typical, says Tyson, noting the group has also played gigs in remote desert areas, outposts in the Arctic Circle and small clubs around the world. The performances become more intimate at those shows.
"There were Deadheads, and it was a good place to be," he says. …That is what I want."Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, and Plant immediately embarked on a successful solo career.His true creative breakout may have been 2007's teaming with bluegrass icon Alison Krauss for Raising Sand, a platinum album that won six Grammy Awards (including album of the year) and garnered him heaps of critical praise for a perceived change in sound.Now, he's plotting a smaller-scale 2015 tour in support of his 10th solo album, Lullaby and ... The shows start in March, with four dates in Latin America, then continues with a U. appearance, just announced this week, as one of the headliners at the Bottle Rock festival in Napa Valley, Calif., in May.(More tour dates are expected soon.)Settling down for an interview on a velveteen-covered couch in a cavernous room at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan, Plant uses the example of another band to explain the type of audience he covets. They had such a huge following because they were coming from a place that, even though it was from an altered state, it was definitely real.the Ceaseless Roar, which some label as "world music.""It is appropriate for my time in life," Plant says of the mix of Americana, African music, blues and soul on the new album.
"If it were world music, we would be the least-successful world musicians because we desecrate.
The album made a handful of 2014 critics' "best of" lists, garnering praise like this:"It's possible to hear the weight of his years on Lullaby and ...
the Ceaseless Roar — it is, in the best sense, mature music, dense in its rhythms and allusions, subtle in its melodies — but he never feels weary, nor does he traffic in false nostalgia," writes Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide.
I spent three, four, five years never playing a Zeppelin song, from 1981 onwards, because I didn't just want to lean on Zeppelin.
I've gone from being in that huge band to picking up the pieces of my own gift."Credit Robert's friendship with Alison for helping him rediscover his joy in family music."She loves to sit around in the parlor singing those old songs with whichever family's coming into town," Robert tells the U. publication ' The Independent' of Alison, "in the same way that my grandfather used to do in the Black Country: they'd sit around with fiddles and sing.
In truth, his sound has never been static."My preoccupation as a very young early teenager was a music form that I might have missed. If I had missed it, I would never have sung," he says.