Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand (2007)

If you haven’t heard Raising Sand, you’re in for a treat.

Who would have thought that we’d ever see the collaboration by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss? Who was bold enough to dream they’d perform songs by Tom Waits and Sam Phillips (the two finest tracks on the album)?

Even better, they’re joined by guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Jay Bellerose.

And the wizard behind the curtain is T-Bone Burnett, who keeps things turned down to a simmer. He holds the reins on these inspired performers so tightly that it makes the albums he produced for Gillian Welch sound positively reckless and indulgent.

But restraint is a good thing, in this case, and the harmonies that Plant and Krauss discover are like a dream.

Seems like every year produces some unlikely gem, something you just have to hear to believe. Last year, it was Seu Jorge singing David Bowie in Portuguese. This year, it’s Raising Sand. Don’t miss it.

Want to know more? Thom Jurek’s ears are as sharp as ever, and his review is up at AllMusic.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at

  • Chip Cain

    Jeff not long ago you briefly referred to this collaboration mentioning that Buddy Miller will be on tour with them early next year. I immediately searched out their website supporting this album

    One of the coolest things on the website is that every song is available for listening to. The result was a trip to the store, a lighter wallet and a richer music collection.

    There is no other place on the net that I encourage more people to visit. This is just one more reason why.