On September 14th, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant will release Band of Joy, the first album from his revived band of the same name. While the original Band of Joy was an experimental blues outfit that ran from 1966 to ’68 and featured drummer John Bonham, Plant’s new lineup — singer Patty Griffin, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, guitarist and co-producer Buddy Miller, drummer Marco Giovino and bassist Byron House — have helped him make an album that recalls the intimate, moody vibe of his Grammy-winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. Band of Joy features covers of Townes Van Zandt’s “Harms Swift Way,” the spiritual classic “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” and Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance” — the groovy, rootsy first single.
“People say to me, ‘How do we know what you’re going to do next?’ ” Plant said while previewing Band of Joy in New York last month after admitting that his first sessions with his new band “sounded like Moby Grape outtakes” (he quickly rang up Griffin and asked her to sing on the disc). “And I have no idea what I will do. I just know that the first four hours when you meet musicians are the most crucial in your life with those guys. You know then whether there’s something really magical there or if you’re just churning it out. I don’t like to go anywhere near that latter condition.”