In 2007, Plant and Alison Krauss released Raising Sand, one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st Century. It was an unlikely, mesmerizing pairing of one of rock’s greatest frontmen with one of country music’s finest and most honored artists, produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett. It entered the Billboard 200 at Number Two and was certified platinum, and it won six Grammy awards, including both Album and Record of the Year.
Now, after fourteen years, the two icons return with Raise the Roof, a dozen songs from a range of traditions and styles that extend this remarkable collaboration in new and thrilling directions.
Plant and Krauss, though, were determined not to simply replicate a formula. “We wanted it to move,” says Krauss. “We brought other people in, other personalities within the band and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.”
The duo’s intention had always been to continue the momentum of Raising Sand. “There was so much enthusiasm, excitement and adrenaline that it would have been folly if we didn’t keep going,” says Plant. “We did join up and consider songs, try to work out some ideas, but then somebody would ask if I’d want to take my band to the Arctic Circle—‘OK, I’ll do that, call you back, Alison!’ And then she goes off and gets another Grammy. We’ve both constantly made new recordings.
“I knew what we could share. In the length of time that I’ve been making records, this is very rewarding, but a very unusual place to find myself.”
In fact, the two singers were stockpiling ideas for songs they might do together, and passing selections back and forth, during the intervening years. “I’ve heard Lucinda Williams sing ‘Can’t Let Go’ forever, and I sent that to Robert at least ten years ago,” says Krauss. “I remember riding around listening to it and thinking it would be so much fun to do together.”
Plant had his eyes on a couple of R&B deep cuts. “The Betty Harris song ‘Trouble With My Lover’ was always in the air,” he says. “To hear Alison sing that is such a great way of her turning her gift around. And Bobby Moore’s ‘Searching for My Love’ is something I used to sing at school, another nugget of beautiful lost soul music which has been ricocheting between us for a long time.”
When they were finally able to reconvene in Nashville in late 2019, Plant admits that it was “kind of daunting.” After all, when they first met up, there were no expectations; “When we started, Robert had said that if it didn’t work, we’ll try it for three days and say goodbye,” says Krauss. But this time, they not only had to clear the bar of their own magnificent careers, they also had the success of Raising Sand to contend with. Once they got rolling, though, Krauss says the recordings felt “very natural, very easy—and really fun.”
For his part, Plant wanted to introduce a musical tradition that was part of his own culture. “I’ve been a big follower of Bert Jansch’s work since I was a teenager,” he says, “and of that whole Irish, Scottish, English folk style that has a different lilt and different lyrical perspective. I was very keen to bring some of that into the picture.”
“One of my favorite parts of this is the songs and songwriters that I had never heard of ” says Krauss, noting that in addition to the inclusion of Jansch’s “It Don’t Bother Me,” she feels the “peak of the record” comes with “Go Your Way” by English folk singer Anne Briggs. “Working with Robert, and with T Bone, is always a great education in musical history.”
The material on the album encompasses compositions by writers as diverse as Merle Haggard (“Going Where the Lonely Go”) and the mysterious blueswoman Geeshie Wiley (“Last Kind Words Blues”)—and even a Plant-Burnett original, “High and Lonesome”—in arrangements even more evocative, spare, and hypnotic than those on Raising Sand. In addition to the core band of ace musicians assembled by Burnett, including drummer Jay Bellerose and guitarist Marc Ribot on all tracks, there are appearances from such guests as David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, jazz wizard Bill Frisell, and the eternal Buddy Miller.
Both Plant and Krauss point to the recording of “Quattro (World Drifts In),” a song by the beloved Americana band Calexico, as a turning point in the Raise the Roof sessions. “When I heard the song for the first time, it came in the group of songs Robert sent me as possibilities he liked as ideas for us to record,” says Krauss. “I thought, ‘Oh gosh, here we go’—hearing that song was the moment I knew we’d make another album.”
The recording of Raise the Roof was completed just weeks before the world went into lockdown, after which the two singers were separated by an ocean for eighteen months (“I’ve never been in one place this long since I was at school,” says Plant). Now that they finally feel ready to put this music out into the world, they’re making plans for a tour that fans have been waiting to return for more than a dozen years.
“It’s time to think about walking on the stage again and having that feeling of being just a little bit nervous,” says Plant. “And that’s really the thing that we both live for—that walk from the side of the stage to the microphone. That’s the longest journey, because it lasts a lifetime.”
The accomplishments of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, of course, are immeasurable. But with Raise the Roof, they take the next step in a project that offers them creative rewards unlike anything else. “There’s so much romance in contrast,” says Krauss.
“It’s such a far cry from everything I’ve done before,” says Plant. “I love the whole kaleidoscope of music that I’ve explored, but this is a place where you can think within the song, you can decide how to bring home an emotion. It’s another blend that we’ve got, and long may we have more of them.”
- Gates open at 5:30PM. Please plan to arrive early to avoid long lines. No proof of vaccination or mask required.
- Showtime is 7:00PM
- The concert takes place rain or shine.
- Children 2 and under admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian for the Great Lawn only.
- There are THREE entrances being used for the event. Please seek out the shortest line.
- Please consult this map for further details that include locations of the merch booth, venue entrances, box office and concessions.
- For Accessible Seating, please enter the park from Randolph Street (north) or Monroe Street (south). For more information on the Park check out Millennium Park’s website here.
Permitted and Prohibited Items
All bags and containers are subject to search. Prohibited items that are discovered during inspections at venue entrances must either be returned to the owner’s vehicle or will be discarded. The venue does not provide a storage area for these items.
- Great Lawn Only: Bags and coolers must be smaller than 26"L x 15"W x 15"D and will be inspected.
- Great Lawn Only: Low lawn chairs and blankets.
- One (1) factory sealed plastic bottled non-alcoholic beverage up to a liter in size.
- Small Backpacks, small purses, and fanny packs.
Prohibited Items (Including but not limited to)
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Any item deemed by management to be dangerous or inappropriate
- Coolers (except as permitted above)
- Glass Bottles, Cans
- Large Bags/Backpacks, Briefcases
- Narcotics / Drugs
- Bluetooth speakers/external audio amplification
- Pets (only service animals are permitted)
- Professional video, audio, and photography equipment.
- Smoking including e-cigs or vaping devices is not allowed on the Great Lawn or in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion seating area. Please smoke only in the designated perimeter.
- Tents, canopies, shade structures, hammocks, umbrellas (staked or golf), flag, or balloons
- Umbrellas – Please bring rain gear so as to not obstruct the view of others.
- Unauthorized solicitation and materials including handbills, flyers, stickers, samples, giveaways, etc.
- Weapons of any kind
- Any item deemed dangerous is at security’s discretion to disallow
- Prohibited items are subject to change. Failure to comply with the above may result in entry being denied. The venue does not provide storage for disallowed items.
Millennium Park is in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North, and Monroe Street to the South. View a Map of Millennium Park and to chart directions from your location.
CTA Trains and Buses
CTA train stations close to Millennium Park include the Red Line Washington Street exit and the Brown/Green/Orange and Purple Line Madison/Wabash Street exit.
From the Suburbs
Metra, the premier commuter rail system, makes traveling to and from downtown Chicago and its surrounding areas easy and convenient with four downtown stations. If arriving downtown via Union Station (Canal Street, between Adams and Jackson Boulevard), take CTA’s #151 bus directly to Millennium Park. The Randolph Street Station exits directly on Michigan Avenue across from the park, the Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Canal Streets) is quickly accessible to the park by CTA’s #20 or #56 bus, and the LaSalle Street Station (Congress and LaSalle Streets) is accessible to the park by CTA’s #147 and #151 bus.
• FROM THE NORTH
If traveling from the North on the Kennedy Expressway or Edens Expressway (Interstate 90/94), exit at Monroe Street and drive east to Michigan Avenue. If driving on the Outer Drive (North Lake Shore Drive/Highway 41), exit at Randolph Street or Monroe Street and drive west to Michigan Avenue.
• FROM THE SOUTH
If traveling from the South on the Dan Ryan Expressway (Interstates 90/94), exit at Congress Parkway and drive east to Michigan Avenue and then north to Monroe Street. If driving on Lake Shore Drive (Highway 41), exit at Randolph Street and drive west to Michigan Avenue.
• FROM THE EAST
If traveling from the East on the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 90), take the Chicago Skyway to the Stony Island exit, follow Highway 41 (Lake Shore Drive) to downtown Chicago, exit at Monroe Street and drive west to Michigan Avenue. If coming in from the East on Interstate 90/94, continue on the Dan Ryan Expressway, exit at Congress Parkway, drive east to Michigan Avenue and then north to Monroe Street.
• FROM THE WEST
If traveling from the West on the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290), which becomes Congress Parkway, drive east to Michigan Avenue, and then turn north (left) to Monroe Street.
Dropping off Patrons
Cars can unload passengers at 205 East Randolph Street but may not park or station vehicles on upper Randolph Street for the duration of the event.
Convenient, 24-hour parking is in the Millennium Park, Grant Park North, Grant Park South and East Monroe Garages. For parking rates and other information, call 312-616-0600. The Garages are easily accessed from various points throughout the loop.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.