After years of playing covers, Robert Plant is to begin writing original songs with the Band of Joy. Following the group's recent album, which included songs by Richard Thompson, Low and Townes Van Zandt, Band of Joy "have to write" their own tunes, Plant said in a new interview.

"It's all very well celebrating other people's songwriting," the singer told the Pulse of Radio (via Blabbermouth), "and I know there are other artists who have had an entire career [playing covers] – whether it be Elvis or Sinatra, or a lot of the country artists who never write. But we've got to be heading that way soon."

Plant first formed the Band of Joy in the late-60s, before co-founding Led Zeppelin. Although members of the group released records in 1978 and 1983, Plant had already quit by that point; his first release under the Band of Joy name was last year. Hailed as a clean break from both Led Zeppelin and Plant's collaboration with Alison Krauss, the LP consisted solely of covers, including traditionals. Plant's most recent original material appeared on 2005's Mighty Rearranger album

Despite Plant's writing plans, the Band of Joy's recent tour dates have featured new covers of songs including Led Zeppelin's Ramble On and Tangerine, and Lightnin' Hopkins's Central Two-o-Nine. The group's current lineup includes Patty Griffin, Byron House, Marco Giovino and co-producer Buddy Miller.

Black Country Communion, Jethro Tull, Spock's Beard, Caravan and Mostly Autumn have been added to the bill of Classic Rock's award-winning High Voltage Festival, which takes place at Victoria Park in East London on July 23-24.

Now into its second year, HV won the Best Festival Award (15,000-39,999 capacity) in the Live UK Music Business Awards and was voted the Festival Of 2010 by Planet Rock Radio listeners.

In 2011 we're making things better still with the introduction of a ticket deposit scheme which spreads the cost of a ticket over two payments. General Admission and WIP weekend tickets can be purchased with an initial ?50 deposit plus booking fee, with the final payment due on June 1. For more info go to www.highvoltagefestival.com/tickets/deposit-scheme

The above artists join previously announced headliners Judas Priest (whose farewell spot will close the show on Saturday night) and Dream Theater. The latter have begun recording a new album with guitarist John Petrucci acting as producer. It will be their first album without Mike Portnoy, who quit DT recently.

Black Country Communion are recording their second album with producer Kevin Shirley, which will be available in time for the HV show. "We're all super-stoked to appear" says Hughes. "This year's HV will be a rock'n'roll extravaganza, which suits us just fine."

Admission to the High Voltage Festival is ?99 for a weekend ticket and ?56.50 for a day tickets, subject to booking fee. VIP tickets will be available at ?105 for the day ?199 for the weekend, subject to booking fee. There will also be various VIP and hotel packages available, at various price levels to suit different pockets.

If you fancy being a very important guest at High Voltage, we have 10 pairs of special VIP tickets up for grabs this month. Click your way over to www.classicrockmagazine.com to enter. Regular festival updates and ticket details can be found at www.highvoltagefestival.com Other outlets include Ticketmaster (0844 847 1708) and HMV tickets (08448 222602)

From: BCCOMMUNION.COM

Stu Hamm, noted bass guitar player, has covered Led Zeppelin's Going To California, from , on his latest CD release Just Outside Of Normal, which dropped into stores on December 1, 2010.

Hamm is known for his slapping, popping and two-handed tapping techniques and Going To California displays an phenominal bass-centric performance.

In a recent MusicRadar interview at NAMM 2011, Hamm said, "When I was growing up, I really didn't listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin. My family was more interested in classical music. The heaviest music I was exposed to was The Beatles, and then later I got into bands like Yes and ELP and Pink Floyd and stuff like that. I discovered Zeppelin later in life.

"A while back, I did a benefit with Jude Gold for Muscular Dystrophy, and Going To California was one of the songs we played. It really stuck with me, and I loved the groove of the song. I started doing this arpeggio thing with it, and playing kind of a drone on it and harmonics, and I thought, Wow, this works really well. I can do something with this.

"Over the years, I've continued to play it live, but on the record I played it at a much faster tempo. I did all the basses first, and then I had Alan come in and do the drums. All the things that sound like guitars are basses except for the slide solo, which is played by Mark McGee, who did a phenomenal job. He really killed it. I'm really happy with it; it's so spiritual sounding. Everybody equates Zeppelin with heavy stuff, but they did a wide range of music and much of it was quite beautiful."

Alice Cooper has rounded on Robert Plant for his unwillingness to reform Led Zeppelin.

Plant had recently reiterated his lack of enthusiasm for reuniting Led Zeppelin after their one-off show in 2007, stating that there is "nothing worse than a bunch of jaded old farts".

And Alice Cooper, of similar "old fart" age, has criticised the singer for "playing folk music" and not getting back out on stage with his old bandmates.

He told the Palm Springs Boxing Examiner: "I go out on stage and say 'turn it up'. I never get tired of playing my songs."

"They are just standing there. What is so hard? Jimmy Page wants to do it. John Paul Jones wants to do it. And they got Bonham's son, who is a killer drummer. All they need is Robert Plant. But what is Robert Plant out there doing? Playing folk music! What is he doing?"

Perhaps Alice Cooper's persistence and love of performing throughout the latter years of his career is paying off. As previously reported, Cooper was announced as one of the 2011's inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, alongside fellow newbies Neil Diamond and Tom Waits. Led Zeppelin however joined the illustrious list of inductees back in 1995.

(Ed. note - Led Zeppelin co-headlined some of their earliest US Tour Dates with Alice Cooper, at the Whisky A Go Go, on January 2-5, 1969.)

From: MUSIC.AOL.UK
Josh Homme and Brody Dalle Expecting Second Child
Photo by Eric Charbonneau, WireImage
Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme will become a proud papa again this year. The baby will be the second for the rocker and his wife, Brody Dalle, of Spinerette and Distillers fame.

"I am up the duff 3 mo's aka bun in the oven, seed in the pumpkin, quid in the ocean, lotion in the basket, hole in the donut," tweeted the Australian-born Dalle. "Thank you for all the well wishes. Due Aug 11th -– Leo's are cool cats."

The couple already has a 5-year-old daughter, Camille Harley. Homme -– also of Them Crooked Vultures fame -– and Dalle married in 2007.

From: SPINNER.COM
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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