Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy in the Artists Den DVD Preview

Robert Plant & The Band of Joy DVD and Blu-ray from Artists Den on Vimeo.

This Beautiful Guitar Can Be Your For Just £25,000 (or more)

The charity Jimmy Page's founded, the ABC trust, is auctioning off a guitar at this years Back2Black festival in London.guitar-200

The guitar, a Led Zeppelin 40th Anniversary Custom Martin D-20 Marquis Acoustic Guitar, is one of only three. It will be signed and personally addressed to the winning bidder by Jimmy Page and the winner will also get pictures of Jimmy with the guitar.

Here's more information on the guitar and the Back2Black festival:
Led Zeppelin 40th Anniversary Custom Martin D-28 Marquis Acoustic Guitar
With only 3 in the World, The ABC Trust is proud to present this incredibly unique limited edition Martin D-28 Marquis to the public. This guitar was developed in honour of the recent 40th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin.

Custom made by the C. F. Martin Guitar Company Custom Shop, this guitar has been inlayed with Led Zeppelin symbols by Tracey Cox one of their most talented artists and commissioned by JR Warner and overseen by Dick Boak, Paul Hammond and Christopher Thomas ensuring that the finest aspects of the Martin tradition have been honoured and protected.

Back to Black Music Festival makes it's Maiden Voyage across the Atlantic!

The year of 2012 is not just about the Olympics. It is also when Back2Black, the biggest black music festival in Latin America, will cross the Atlantic sea and arrive for the first time in London. The event is part of a cultural agenda to run parallel with the games and is supporting ABC Trust as it's charity partner.

Three days of live music with an eclectic line up of over 20 Brazilian, African & international artists including B2B Ambassador Gilberto Gil, Macy Gray, Roots Manuva, Amadou & Mariam, Criolo, Luiz Melodia and many more. Taking place over 3 stages in a stunning riverside venue in central London, transformed for the occasion by Brazilian visual artist, Miguel Rio Branco, plus talks, debates, workshops and a food & craft market.

If you are interested in bidding on the guitar, dig deep into your pockets (no, deeper) as bidding begins at £25,000. Contact for further information by Friday 29 June, 12pm

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Robert Plant: #1 in Classical Charts

mzidsgekftr170x170-75Robert Plant has had a lot of accolades and accomplishments over his 40+ year career, but it's likely even he would never have thought #1 in the classical charts would be one of them. Yet that's the case this week as Alfie Boe's album Alfie, featuring a duet with Plant doing Song to the Siren, debuted on the Billboards charts at number one last week.

While the album and song are now available for download in North America, in Britain you could download it via iTunes last November, and I did:
The revelation is Plant. Not that he can sing, of course, but that his voice works so well in the style with which this song is done.  Plant has changed his singing style dramatically over the last ten years - maybe it’s even fair to say five. Nowhere does the positive aspects of that change come across as well as it does singing next to a very musical operatic singer.

An Alfie Boe and Robert Plant duet is, to use a phrase I frankly don’t like, outside the box. Yet it works far better than I expect most fans of either artist expected it to.

It can now be downloaded via iTunes, or click the link below to get it on Amazon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Robert Plant Album "Two-Thirds Done"

In a short interview with Classic Rock Magazine this week at the Jim Capaldi book signing, does Robert Plant let slip that he is working on, and close to finished, a new album? Listen below, starting at 3:00.

Patty Griffin there (possibly pointing her out), Grammy winning Gospel singer, songwriter, she and I have been travelling together with the band of joy for 14 months. Now she's just finished her new album, and I'm 2/3 of the way through mine in Nashville.

Sounds like new Robert Plant music may be coming soon, although no word on what musicians he recorded with.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Get The Led Out: The Book

Denny Somach has written a book on Led Zeppelin based on Carol Miller's popular Get The Led Out radio series. The book, Get the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World, "starts out with a day-by-day timeline based on Carol Miller's radio show of the same name. It provides a behind-the-scenes view of the band, revealing quirky details, achievements and more." (link)

Get the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World features 27 interviews including Jason Bonham, Chris Squire, Joe Perry and Danny Goldberg.

The 256 page book will be released on Nov. 6th and lists for $29.95. You can pre-order at Amazon, however, for $22.93.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Musical Community Rallies Around Led ZepAgain

West Coast based Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zepagain have been going through a rough patch. Last week, professional thieves robbed them in Morgan Hill near San Jose. zepThe band's van was broken into and most of their gear stolen, including 2 Les Paul's, a Gibson doubleneck and a Danelectro guitar. The band had no insurance on the gear, so replacing it will be difficult - Zeppelin tribute bands need a Jimmy Page guitar arsenal without the benefit of a Jimmy Page banking arsenal.

A Burns theremin was also stolen, but when Dan Burns found out what happened to the band he sent them a new one and refused even shipping charges (if that Led Zeppelin tribute that I have been trying out for ever comes to fruition, I know exactly where I'm getting my theremin).

Fans and other artists are doing what they can to help the band through, with even the Red Hot Chili Peppers putting out a call for everyone to watch for the gear. In fact a full fledged APB has been sent out in both the Led Zeppelin and the general musical community. A full list of the gear stolen can be found below If you buy or sell musical instruments, know somebody who does or just like to keep an eye on what comes and goes in your local music shop, keep an eye out for the gear below.

284406A posting from Brenda Wootten, Led Zepagain's bass player, Jim Wootten's wife, tells all (note: I don't normally repost entire posts from other people's sites, but I'm making an exception in this case).

My name is Brenda Wootten, I am the wife of Jim Wootten, who is the bass player for a well known Southern California based tribute band, Led Zepagain.

On June 9, 2012, LED ZEPAGAIN, were victims of one of the worst crimes a band could face. As they slept at the Microtel Inn and Suites in Morgan Hill (Northern California) Tens of Thousands of dollars of music gear was stolen from their van. The alarm was cut and years of investment and sentimental value was lifted from the van. This is a major setback as it puts the band in immediate jeopardy of lost revenue as well as capital investment.

The boys are devastated...

I have set up this site as we have had a lot of fans asking where they can donate funds to help Led Zepagain become whole again!

The band is going to slowly start to replace the stolen equipment so they can continue to keep the magic alive.

Sadly...Non of the bands equipment was covered by Insurance...

Thank you so much for all your support!

List of Led Zepagain's stolen Gear...
Gibson Les Paul Standard 1950's reissue guitar, Light Burst - Ser# 020560474
Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 reissue guitar, Cherry Sunburst - Ser# 009649
Gibson EDS1275 guitar, Heritage Cherry - Ser# CS-52190
Danelectro 59-DC guitar, black & white
Taylor 514CE Acoustic guitar - Ser# 980915107
Mojave Coyote amp head
Janal Cases Custom pedalboard case
TC Electronix Polytune
Ibanez Turbo Tube Screamer
Boss Octaver
Boss Giga Delay
Small Stone Phase Shifter
Boss Chorus
Cry Baby Wah Pedal
BBE Frequency Boost Pedal
Morley A/B Switcher
Burns Theramin
Electro-Harmonix 22 Caliber Power Amp
Janal Cases Custom guitar flight case
Multi 7-guitar stand
Guitar cables
Flight briefcase
Boss tuner
3 brass slides
Custom guitar picks
Gaffer's tape
Misc tools
9 volt batteries

1 Ensoniq Kt -76 Keyboard
1 Gator GK-76 Keyboard Case
1 Gator GR-4PL-US Rack Case
1 E-mu Vintage Pro Sound Module w/sound card upgrades
1 E-mu Vintage Keys Plus Sound Module
1 Ensoniq MR Rack Sound Module
1 Kurzweil PC-2R Sound Module w/Orchestral and Classic Keys Upgrade
1 Midiman 6-Channel Mixer
4 6' Midi Cables
4 8' Monster Rock Instrument Cables with angled connectors
3 Live Wire 1.5 Foot Power Cables
1 12 foot Monster Midi Cable
1 Fender Jazz Bass w/active pick-ups
1 Markbass CMD 102P 2x10 Tilt-back Bass Combo
1 Markbass Standard 151HR rear ported Neo 1x15 bass cabinet
1 10 Foot Monster S-100 Speaker Cable with Speakon Connectors
1 15 Foot Live Wire Power Cable
1 Customized banner with John Paul Jones symbol
1 Boss A/B-2 2 Way Switch
2 10 Foot Keyboard Instrument Monster Cables

2 Shure SM 57 Mics
1 Shure SM 58 Mic
1 AKG D112 Kick drum mic
1 Sennheiser e602 kick drum mic
3 Sennheiser e 604 Drums mics
2 Sennheiser e 504 Drums mic
1 Sennheiser e835 Vocal Mic
1 Oktava MK-012-01 Cond mic
1 Boss DD6 Digital Delay pedal
1 Sansa Fuze MP3 player 4 GB
3 25' Live wire Mic cables
1 Bag of Misc adapters and connectors

24" Zildjian ride cymbal
(2) 20" Zildjian crash cymbals
(2) 15" Hi-hat cymbals
SBC Cymbal case
26" Ludwig Amber Vistalite Bass Drum
26" Bass drum case

Shure PSM 900 in ear monitor system
SKB rack case
SKB molded case
Shure green bullet mic
Furman 15 Amp Power Conditioner with Pull-out Lights
Yamaha SPX990
7 blues harps
AKG C 535 mic
3 mic cables
3 balanced qrt cables
Steam inhaler
1 Customized banner with Robert Plant symbol

You can also make a donation to help the guys out.

Tight But Loose #32

Dave Lewis' tri-annual Led Zeppelin fanzine, Tight But Loose is always excellent but issue #32, which landed on my door step last week, sets a new standard. How good is it? Lewis has an interesting and informative interview with John Paul Jones and it's not the high point of the magazine.

tbl32-coverA "TBL investigates" feature looks into where that famous first Led Zeppelin rehearsal took place. The feature is six pages long examines the evidence where that rehearsal took place. In the process they cover in detail the demise of The Yardbirds and the forming of Led Zeppelin. It is an article that Zeppelin fans will find exceptional and that, somehow, could only have come from Tight But Loose.

It also features and excellent and informative interview with Warren Grant, an interview, post Sensational Space Shifters show, with Justin Adams and a review of Lucifer Rising.

Tight But Loose issue #32 is as good as it gets and you will spend a few hours soaking in every word, it is that good.

A subscription to Tight But Loose can be ordered from, as well issue #32 can be ordered as a stand alone edition. While your at Tight But Loose, order one (or three) of Dave's books, and tell him they came highly recommended from Ramble On Radio.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

O2 Reunion Show DVD Coming at "Tectonic Plate Speed."

In his latest edition of the ubiquitous Led Zeppelin fanzine, Tight But Loose, Dave Lewis interviews John Paul Jones. He asks the most important question on the Led Zeppelin fans minds (besides when are you playing together again?, which, kudos to him, Lewis manages to avoid asking). tbl32-coverWhen asked what is happening on the release of a DVD  (and BlueRay obviously) of the O2 reunion show, Jones said:
...things move at a tectonic plate speed in the Zeppelin camp.

As a follow up, Lewis asks, "So you can see it happening?"
I could have... I'm not sure... I think it will but obviously it's not just down to me, there are two others to consider. Let's hope it does.

This answer tells us a couple of things. The DVD is being held up by a member of Zeppelin, or his camp, not called John Paul Jones. And by "two others," we can presume Jones doesn't mean Jason Bonham.

As for a post O2 reunion tour, and the three instrumentalists in the band playing together, Jones had this to say:
I did rehearsals with Jimmy and Jason and I think we all thought it could be a goer. In the end we couldn't really find a singer we could all agree on and it fizzled out...

As for Them Crooked Vultures, Jones saw himself playing with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl again, but not in the near future:'s probably way ahead but yes I could see it coming together again.

It's an excellent overall interview with the Zeppelin bassist that covers everything from his equipment to his opera.

If you don't subscribe to Tight But Loose, I can't recommend it enough. However, if you would rather check it out first, issue 32 is available as a one off purchase from Tight But Loose:

I'll have a full review of the entire edition in the next few days, but at halfway through, it is excellent. Click on the link and buy now.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Band of Joy DVD

Last April PBS, the American public broadcasting channel featured a Robert Plant and the Band of Joy concert on their Live From the Artists Den series. This week Artists Den and Universal Music announced that Robert Plant & the Band of Joy: Live from the Artists Den would be released on DVD and Blue Ray. Here's a partial press release:

Artists Den Entertainment and Universal Music Group will releaseRobert Plant & the Band of Joy: Live from the Artists Den on 5.1 BluRay and DVD in the US on July 10th. On July 9th, these products will be released internationally under exclusive license through Universal Music Group International. This epic show was filmed as a rare, intimate performance at the historic War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Selections from the show aired nationwide on public television's Live from the Artists Den, the hit music series featuring acclaimed artists performing in extraordinary settings. Now released in full for the first time, the DVD features bonus interview clips and concert footage not included in the television broadcast, including six Led Zeppelin classics, three of which have never been shown before.

The DVD will also be presented as a featured story and product release for public television's National Pledge starting July 26th, The series is a production of Artists Den Entertainment in association with WNET New York Public Media, and is distributed by American Public Television.

By my reading of that, there will be material on the DVD/BlueRay that was not on the original show.

Release date is July 9th internationally, July 10th in US and Canada.

robert-plant-the-band-of-joy-dvd-cover-1Here's the tracklist:

  1. Black Dog

  2. Angel Dance

  3. Houses of the Holy

  4. House of Cards

  5. Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday

  6. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down

  7. Somewhere Trouble Don't Go

  8. Tangerine

  9. A Satisfied Mind

  10. Move Up

  11. Down to the Sea

  12. Ramble On

  13. Gallows Pole

  14. In the Mood

  15. Rock and Roll

  16. I Bid You Goodnight