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"The sound just wasn't there," Robert says. "Alison is the best. She's one of my favorite people. We'll come back to it."
For now, though, Robert is concentrating on his newly reunited Band of Joy. The revived Band of Joy group -- which Robert formed as an experimental blues band in the 1960s -- now includes singer Patty Griffin, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, guitarist and co-producer Buddy Miller, drummer Marco Giovino and bassist Byron House.
Upcoming concerts for the group include an appearance at the 38th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June 16-19, in Telluride, Colo., where Band of Joy will join a lineup including Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, the Decemberists and Jerry Douglas.
Robert credits his somewhat recent love for country to the 2001 documentary 'Down from the Mountain,' that features live performances by bluegrass artists.
"When I was a kid, I didn't know about the great country singers," Robert says with an embarrassed shrug. "I knew about Leroy Van Dyke, Skeeter Davis and Jim Reeves, but there was no access to the real stuff like the Stanley Brothers. I didn't know about that until 'Down from the Mountain,' and I'd been in America then for 35 years. How amazing is that?"
Robert Plant and Band of Joy are on tour. Their next scheduled concert is January 18 in Asheville, N.C. For a complete list of dates and venues, check here.