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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
Robert Plant has announced the first North American headline dates on his upcoming world tour celebrating the release of his eagerly anticipated new album Carry Fire. The album track “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” is also available today. Written by rockabilly legend Ersel Hickey and later recorded by both Richie Valens and The Beach Boys, “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” features special guest Chrissie Hynde joining Plant on vocals. The track is accompanied by a striking companion visual, streaming now at Plant’s official YouTube channel (as are companion videos for both “The May Queen” and “Bones of Saints.”
Carry Fire has already begun drawing early critical notice, with Rolling Stone praising “The May Queen” for its “winsome guitar melodies and rhythms” and the “thunderous” “Bones of Saints” for its “rustic guitars and thumping tom-toms.” “Eastern rhythms are given a warm vibe with the psychedelic leanings of guitar,” noted Consequence of Sound. “Using American folk instrumentation to play altered versions of foreign melodies creates an intoxicating mood, Plant continues to explore his love of the blues and global music on a beautiful new single called ‘The May Queen,’” raved NPR Music, further hailing the track as “a sweetly innocent reflection on aging and the undying power of love to inspire and give life.”
His eleventh solo album and first full-length release since 2014’s acclaimed lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Carry Fire, was produced by Plant in the west of England at Top Cat Studio in Box, Wiltshire, with additional recordings at Real World Studios and Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire, Wales. As before, Plant is accompanied by The Sensational Space Shifters: Justin Adams on guitar, acoustic guitar, oud, E-bow quartet, percussion, snare drum, tambourine; John Baggott on keyboards, moog, loops, percussion, drums, brass arrangement, t’bal, snare drum, slide guitar, piano, electric piano, bendir; Billy Fuller on bass, keyboards and drum programming; Dave Smith on bendir, tambourine, djembe, drum kit; and Liam “Skin” Tyson on dobro, guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, twelve-string.
Plant and the Space Shifters are joined on Carry Fire by a number of special guests, including the aforementioned Chrissie Hynde, Albanian cellist Redi Hasa, and acclaimed musician Seth Lakeman, who contributes viola and fiddle to three tracks. Lakeman will join the Sensational Space Shifters on all upcoming world tour dates.
Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters spent nearly two years on the road together supporting lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, their one-of-a-kind sound and vision ultimately evolving into something even more creative and powerful. Now, with Carry Fire, Plant and his collaborators have fashioned a remarkable new collection of songs, melding unusual rhythms with naturalism and smoldering power.
“It’s about intention,” says Plant. “I respect and relish my past works but each time I feel the trawl and incentive to create new work. I must mix old with new. Consequently the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat, the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation”.