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Between reuniting with Led Zeppelin, collaborating with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss and doing a covers album (2010?s Band Of Joy), it's been a busy few years for Robert Plant. And despite the news that he has written one new album with his backing band The Sensational Shape Shifters and another with singer/songwriter Buddy Miller, Plant says he's going to take it easy for a while.

"I think I might just chill for a while, to be honest," he tells CBS Local. "I'm enjoying life and spending more time in America now. I really enjoy it. I'm becoming way more aware and opinionated and stimulated by these new adventures. Everybody says I'm workaholic, and I just keep going and going. And I will do that (again). But I want to explore more. When I think about how I was writing when I was a kid, when I was 20 or whatever, it was all about travel and journey and stimulus. I'm getting on a bit now, but I have to look at more stuff to be able to write cohesively."

One reason that he's spending more time in America is his relationship with singer/songwriter Patty Griffin, who was part of his backing group on his Band Of Joy tour. He joined her onstage in October at San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival for a new song. He confirmed that he has contributed to her next record. "It's a brilliant record. It's produced by Craig Ross. I just joined her on a couple of songs, which we wrote together. It's great stuff, it's really good."

Griffin was Plant's date at the Kennedy Center Honors, where Led Zeppelin was feted alongside Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova. He said that he was particularly happy to receive the honor from President Obama.

"I think the world held it's breath a couple of weeks ago, and what a fantastic result," he told CBS Local, referring to the recent election. "What a charismatic guy, and what a job he's got to do."

While the President doesn't speak at the actual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony (which airs on CBS on December 26 at 9 p.m. ET), he spoke about the band at a dinner at the White House before the ceremony, talking about their wild lifestyle in the '70s, quipping that, "It's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are three inches thick! And Secret Service all around... so guys, just settle down! These paintings are valuable."

Plant added, "His humor, relating to our career a while back was very, very funny. He's got us down!" Watch the President's full speech here.

Meanwhile, if Plant doesn't do much performing in 2013, you can check out two recent live releases. One, Robert Plant Presents Sensational Space Shifters, is available as a download, and features his latest backing band. The other, Live From The Artist's Den, features him with his Band Of Joy, including Patty Griffin.

From: K-Earth 101
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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