July 24, 2008
This Robert Plant & Alison Krauss collaboration left successful behind a while ago and is entering full-blown phenomenon territory:
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand is one of 12 albums nominated for the Mercury Prize, the annual award determined by a panel of judges in the British music industry. The winner will be announced on Sept. 9. Other nominees for the prestigious honor include Adele, British Sea Power, Burial, Elbow, Estelle, Laura Marling, Neon Neon, Portico Quartet, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, Radiohead and the Last Shadow Puppets.
lbums used to be a regular thing, with established solo artists also recording collaborative projects. Back in the sixties and seventies, pairings like Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, and Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton alternated between solo albums and duet albums.
It's been a long time since this has been the norm, even though Willie Nelson releases collaborations with many different artists. There was a duet album planned for Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood in the late nineties, but it never came to pass.
With the success of Plant & Krauss, wouldn't it be cool to see this trend return? Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood, for example, or both on the same label. Their duet “Oh Love” was a high point on Paisley's album, and their performance of “Make the World Go Away” was a showstopper at the ACM awards this past may. They'd be my pick to make albums together.
Who do you think should bring back superstar duet projects to country music, making albums together on a regular basis?