DVD: Robert Plant’s Blue Note
Few artists have had careers as extensive and wide-ranging as Robert Plant, whose life’s work was recently outlined in the new documentary Robert Plant’s Blue Note. Instead of creating a sensationalistic, sex-drugs-and-rock and roll biographical documentary (though there are still mentions of this of course), this DVD focuses more on the styles of music that influenced Plant the most.
Throughout his five-decade career Plant traveled all around the world, absorbing and incorporating such musical styles into his music as American blues, West African, psychedelia, bluegrass, Indian, and Egyptian, to name only a few. The documentary does seem to delve a bit too deeply into the history of each of these musical genres sometimes, occasionally making me forget that I’m watching a documentary on Robert Plant and not on the history of an obscure Egyptian singer for example. However, the highly knowledgeable commentators (contemporaries, biographers, historians, journalists, and even Plant himself) make this film wonderfully informative in ways that few other rock docs are. It also offers some fantastic live concert footage, music videos, and recorded interviews.
So whether you are a fan of his duet work with Alison Krauss on Raising Sands, of his days with Led Zeppelin, or of his 80’s solo career (I’m sure there are at least one or two of you out there), Robert Plant’s Blue Note should be interesting to watch and will no doubt teach you a thing or two about world music.