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Robert Plant Gets His ‘Big Voice’ Out of Mothballs for Upcoming Space Shifters Album

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

It seems Robert Plant feels right at home in Mississippi Delta. The one time Led Zeppelin frontman has a new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, who made their US debut by headlining the 25th annual Sunflower Blues Festival on Aug. 11. It seems Plant brought his recently-in-hiding rock god voice out for the occasion, too.

The group’s set featured altered takes of Zeppelin standards such as ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Bron-Yr-Aur,’ as well as material from their forthcoming debut. “12 tracks, 11 originals and no sentimental stuff,” the singer told the UK Telegraph regarding the new disc. A live recording by Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters was released last month.

For his last few musical outings, most notably with Alison Krauss on 2007′s Grammy award-winning ‘Raising Sand’ album, Plant began to alter his famous vocal style — in part to suit the material and in part, due to age. But this new, more blues-based material called for him to summon up his past once again:

“That was the great thing about the adventures with Alison, and singing with Patty and Buddy, that I started singing differently. Somebody said to me in London when we played the Forum recently, ‘You had your big voice back.’ I put the big voice away for quite a long time because I thought, we know how to do that,” he said, “So it was good to get it out again. It’s all the same really, you just have to use the right colors for the right picture.”

Always very vocal about the impact American roots music had on him, Plant gratefully explains, “So much (of what) Zeppelin did come from here. Almost subconsciously. With Jimmy’s enthusiasm and knowledge and record collection, between the two of us, on that level, we had such a mutual preference towards that stuff, and the wild side of rock ’n’ roll.”

Next: Top Ten Robert Plant Songs

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