Guitar Techniques - - Talk Back -

Well, it’s post-Glas­ton­bury time and every­one has their own opin­ions about who was great, who was rub­bish, who can and can’t play and who shouldn’t still be al­lowed to. And whether or not you sub­scribe to the “Dolly was mim­ing” con­spir­acy the­o­ries, no one can deny that her songs, her spirit and her per­son­al­ity had the vast crowd in the palm of her hand – like she was sing­ing on her own front lawn (which, in truth, is prob­a­bly as big as that field!). And her band was to­tally on it – great guitar play­ing from band leader Kent Wells, too, es­pe­cially on Dolly’s play-off where he wailed away not un­like a Michael Lan­dau or per­haps a David Gris­som.

How­ever, what I re­ally wanted to say was how great were Robert Plant and his co­horts? They took bril­liant old tracks we know and love, and gave them a re­ally new twist with ex­tra ‘world’ in­stru­ments and a gen­er­ally darker, blue­sier feel. No won­der, then, that Robert doesn’t feel the need to re­form his old band, since he made such a great noise, and seemed to be hav­ing such fun, with this one. From wail­ing sex-God front man he’s be­come a seem­ingly gen­uine ‘artist’ who’s knowl­edge­able and in­ter­ested in all styles of eth­nic mu­sic, and also very ca­pa­ble of stand­ing head to head with mod­ern artists – as he did so well with Ali­son Krauss on their al­bum Rais­ing Sand.

It’s re­ally good that mu­si­cians such as Plant can ex­ist as artists in their own right, many decades af­ter their ini­tial, ma­jor suc­cess – and still cut it along­side su­per­stars of to­day. Well done, Planty! Nige, Hendon Plant and his band were su­perb. Imag­ine hav­ing that reper­toire to draw from, and the feel and ex­pe­ri­ence of re­ally great play­ers – in­clud­ing Skin Tyson and Justin Adams on gui­tars – and yet not be­ing con­strained by the mono­lith that is Led Zep­pelin. I, too, would love to see Led Zep get to­gether once more, with Bonham’s DNA in the shape of Bonzo’s son Ja­son, but I was al­most as happy to watch this joy­ous out­fit per­form.

Robert Plant: with his band, one of

Glas­ton­bury 2014’s big hits

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