DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Robert Plant’s Blue Note (2011) DVD

The DVD documents the muse of a restless musical troubadour.

Published on August 10, 2011

Robert Plant’s Blue Note (2011) DVD

Robert Plant’s Blue Note (2011) DVD

Chapters: Black Country Blues; The Old Masters; Summer Of Love; The Yardbirds: Fully Ledded; The Journey East; Going Solo; Into The 80’s; Starting Again; Unledded; Crossing The Desert; The Journey West; Bonus Feature: Percy Plant, John Lomax and the Leadbelly Connection
Featuring interviews with Robert Plant, Barny Hoskys, Phil Johnstone, T-Bone Burnett, Andy Morgan, Tom McGuiness, Dave Kelly and many others
Studio: Sexy Intellectual Productions/MVD Visual SIDVD567 [8/23/11]
Video: 1.33:1 color
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

All Regions
Length: 155 minutes
Rating: ****

At times it is impossible to separate singer Robert Plant from the iconic Led Zeppelin. This legendary rock band revolutionized the music scene with their bombastic, sonic flair. A significant part of this breakthrough was the powerful singing voice of Plant. Several polls have named him the greatest rock singer of all time. His primal blues wailing influenced a generation of future singers. However, his journey of musical exploration took on a global perspective.

Robert Plant’s Blue Note
is an incisive DVD that documents the muse of a restless musical troubadour. Relying on interviews with writers, musicians and occasionally Plant himself, the documentary analyzes the underlying inspirational contributions to this eclectic singer. Starting with the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties, the influence of American blues music (Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, etc.) defined popular music and in particular the English rock bands. An inevitable meeting with Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page forged an alliance that helped create psychedelic blues. To its credit, The Led Zeppelin narrative is portrayed as a stepping stone to the pursuit of world music. There are a surprising variety of performance clips including Led Zeppelin, Buffalo Springfield, The Yardbirds, and Cream.

Travels to India influenced Zeppelin (“Kashmir”) and served as a springboard for Plant’s musical journey. Other influences are covered in his solo work which is represented by classic 80’s videos. Again, he is determined to integrate the “Blue Note” that inhabits all music into his interpretations. The connection between “desert” music and Delta blues is brought into focus. A controversial reunion with Plant (No Quarter) is discussed at length with some limited footage. An interview in the middle of a busy intersection (probably in London) reiterates the quirky nature of all things Plant. A highlight is the collaboration with Allison Kraus and T-Bone Burnett. There are two interesting performance clips (“Rich Woman” and “Killing The Blues”) with Burnett joining Plant and Kraus. The admiration for Americana is coalesced with vintage footage of Bill Monroe (“Blue Moon of Kentucky”), Ernest Tubb (“Waltz Around Texas”) and Flatt and Scruggs (“Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow”). Plant continues to record and perform his versions of elusive “Blue Note” musings.

Robert Plant’s Blue Note
has very good sound quality and visual refinement. The interviews are concise and don’t impede the flow of the story. The viewer gets a perspective on musical inspiration.
 
–Robbie Gerson    




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