At 67, Robert Plant continues to evolve.
Thirty-plus years after rock icons Led Zeppelin disbanded, Plant’s still cranking out not only the hard rock classics, but also roots blues, and African-inspired and traditional folk tunes.
He’s a lso embracing the music of the American South, and that’s where his latest tour is taking him with his current band, The Sensational Space Shifters. They’re calling it the “Blues … Roots and Hollers” tour, and it hits Baton Rouge on Thursday.
“I want people to know I’m pulling points of reference from other times and other places — incongruous and out of step and kilter — into another world,” Plant recently told Relix magazine.
The Space Shifters — Justin Adams, John Baggott, Juldeh Camara, Billy Fuller, Liam “Skin” Tyson and Dave Smith — worked with Plant on 2014’s “lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar,” Plant’s first CD with Nonesuch Records. The project offers 11 new genre-blurring recordings, nine of which are original songs he wrote with the band.
No doubt, the Baton Rouge audience will be hearing some of these “new” songs, as will “Austin City Limits” fans in the near future.
Plant will return to the stage of the PBS music series for the first time in more than a decade on March 21 to record a set for later broadcast, the show announced this week.
Following its swing of the South, the band heads for a string of European dates in July, and Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, England, in August. The headlining gig is the band’s only UK festival appearance in 2016.
Since his years as Zeppelin frontman, the English musician, singer and songwriter has amassed highly-successful solo albums, teamed with former Zeppelin guitar god Jimmy Page, and sung for recordings with bands like The Honeydrippers, Priory of Brion and Strange Sensation, the latter group developed into the Space Shifters. Work with Alison Krauss and Band of Joy are among other recent projects in Nashville.
“I’ve still got a twinkle in my eye,” Plant once said.
And some rockin’ to do.