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Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Please Read the Letter"

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Please Read the Letter (2007)

Originally a Page & Plant track.

I don't think I have ever heard Robert Plant's voice so mellow. Not that he's not earnest, but I would never have guessed this was Robert Plant if you just played me this song blind. Alison Krauss provides a lot of the plaintive in the tone of the song. I kind of wish she had gotten a verse herself, instead of all backing.
I really like the drums in this song. Really sparse use of cymbal. Lots of tom-tom. You could do 95% of the drums on this song with a bodhran and your boot kicking a chain during the fiddle solo. It's so stripped down until the final repeat of the chorus and the outro. Yet it is the key part of why the song keeps driving forward. The bass is an upright, and a nice touch, but it and the rhythm guitar are nothing special, they just give a steady stage for the performers to show on.
The lead guitar parts are accents; the fiddle solos in the middle and at the end are nice, but ultimately what makes this song so solid is how great the two voices sound together.
I think a nice version of this song could be done with the drum I mention, and one acoustic guitar playing very simple chords while these two really good voices join together to be better than the sum of their parts.

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