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Plant & Krauss Cap Bonnaroo With Rootsy Set of Duets, Led Zep Tune

June 16, 2008 8:45 AM ET

While most folks left Bonnaroo on Sunday, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss drew one of the festival's biggest audiences for a high-energy set that included mateiral from their debut collaboration Raising Sand. Plant kicked things off sans Krauss, running through tunes like "Rich Woman" with his backing band, which featured roots-rock legend T Bone Burnett. Plant also treated Zep fans to a rip-roaring rendition of the classic "Black Dog," shrieking and tossing his microphone in the air. Once Krauss joined him onstage, things got progressively more country-fied, with Krauss adding masterful fiddle lines to eerie tunes like "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us." The crowd was delighted, as was Plant. "Welcome to our little world," he said. "It's a great pleasure to bring this gift. It's been a wonderful time for you and me."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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