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Robert Plant & the Band of Joy – ‘Live from the Artists Den’ – DVD Review

Robert Plant & the Band of Joy Live at the Artists Den
Universal

If you thought Robert Plant‘s latest new group, the Band of Joy, sounded great on their self-titled debut album, wait till you get a load of them in action on the brand-new ‘Live from the Artists Den’ DVD.

This excellent concert film improves on that already well-received 2010 album, which found the ever-exploring Led Zeppelin legend fronting a diverse and experienced collection of musicians through an eclectic set of obscure folk and rock covers, in two very important ways.

First three band members — Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and Darrell Scott — get a turn on lead vocals, further expanding the band’s already impressive range.

Scott’s turn on the classic ‘Satisfied Mind’ deserves special attention, but all three are fantastic. Many songs on the set feature the vocalists harmonizing or trading lines in ways only hinted at on the album; clearly their time together on tour has solidified this lineup. (It seems a pity Plant’s already moved on to yet another new band for his next project, but then again, he’s rarely steered his listeners wrong yet.)

Secondly — yes, they tap into the mighty Zeppelin songbook, delivering creatively re-worked versions of classic songs such as ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Gallows Pole’ and ‘Rock and Roll.’ They also cover two of Plant’s best solo songs, the popular ‘In the Mood’ and the relatively unknown ‘Down to the Sea,’ from 1993′s ‘Fate of Nations.’

The Band of Joy’s rendition of ‘Houses of the Holy’ is particularly fascinating — the slowed-down pace puts extra emphasis on the lyrics, which proves to be a very wise and enlightening move. Granted, Plant screamed a whole lot back in the Zeppelin days, but it’s clear he had always chosen his words carefully and wisely. Simply put, there’s nobody operating in rock music these days that can match Plant’s mix of talent, experience and creative restlessness. Can’t wait to see what he does next!

Next: Top 10 Robert Plant Songs

Watch Robert Plant Perform ‘Angel Dance’

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