Created on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:48
Robert Plant dropped by Royal Studios on Saturday to cut harmonica tracks for the North Mississippi Allstars. Allstars Luther and Cody Dickinson had thought their new album was all but done, when they found themselves in town at the same time as the former Zeppelin front man and blues aficionado. The Dickinson brothers had opened a few dates for Plant in recent years and had talked about getting in some studio time.
Cody Dickinson, Lightnin' Malcolm, Robert Plant, Boo Mitchell, and Luther Dickinson - Royal Studios 2013
"It was unexpected," said Boo Mitchell, owner of the storied Royal Studios and a man not easily star-struck. Royal Studios is famous primarily for recording Al Green's hits under the direction of Boo Mitchell's father, the legendary producer Willie Mitchell. The house rhythm section, known as the Hi Rhythm section, backed tons of soul hits and is legendary in its own right.
There are few musical stars as accomplished as Plant. Led Zeppelin's Untitled album has sold a reported 37 million copies. Still Plant was moved by the experience of working at Royal.
"We let him use Al Green's mic," Mitchell said. He dug the sound and the fact that we haven't changed anything. He had a fabulous time."
They worked on two tracks and were joined by Lightnin' Malcolm on bass.
Both Plant and the Allstars had gigs that night. Plant played at the Live at the Garden series and the Allstars at the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter's 40th Anniversary at the Levitt Shell.
"It was funny, Plant missed his sound check and Cody and Luther did too," Mitchell said.
The session got off to a wobbly start.
"About 4 my phone rings," Mitchell said, cutting to a British accent. "'Is this the studio? This is Robert. I need another harmonica.' He said he had dropped his into some Indian incense."
A harp was found and to great effect.
"He should play harmonica more than he does. He is a bad ass harmonica player," Mitchell said.
From: Memphis Flyer
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|February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England|
|February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.|
|February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40|
|February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.|
|February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident|
|February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin|
|February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name|
|February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios|
|February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair|
|February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth|
|February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.|
|February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour|
|February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems|
|February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue|
|February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert|
|February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston|
|February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales|
|February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk|
|February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour|
|February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage|
|February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines|
|February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories|
|February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour|
|February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank|
|February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.|