Two weeks ago, Robert Plant played a concert with his latest backing group, The Sensational Shape Shifters, and if you’re curious to hear them, you can purchase a download of the show on iTunes. The performance was recorded at the HMV Forum in London on July 12 and released as a digital download the following day.

The Sensational Shape Shifters features singer/guitarist Patty Griffin, guitarist Justin Adams, keyboardist John Baggott, guitarist Liam “Skin” Tyson, drummer Dave Smith, bassist Billy Fuller and Juldeh Camara on various instruments including an African banjo and talking drum.

The live album contains new takes on Zeppelin classics including “Friends,” “Bon-Y-Aur Stomp,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Gallows Pole” and “Black Dog,” as well as lesser known tracks from his solo career, including “Another Tribe” and “Tin Pan Alley.”

This release comes shortly on the heels of a new live DVD recorded with an almost completely different band, Live From The Artist’s Den. Recorded on February 9, 2011 at the Nashville War Memorial in Nashville, it featured Plant working with his Band Of Joy — named after his pre-Led Zeppelin group that also included John Bonham. The 2011 lineup, who played on Plant’s 2010 Band Of Joy album, featured a number of big names from Nashville’s music scene: Patty Griffin, guitarist/singer Buddy Miller, pedal steel guitarist Darrell Scott, bassist Byron House and drummer Marco Giovino.

The album features songs from the Band Of Joy album (made up mostly of covers), including Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance” and Richard Thompson’s “House Of Cards,” as well as a number of Led Zeppelin classics: “Black Dog,” “Houses Of The Holy,” “Tangerine,” “Down To The Sea,” “Ramble On,” “Gallows Pole” and “Rock and Roll,” along with one of Plant’s solo hits from the ’80s (“In The Mood”).

The Live From The Artist’s Den series puts big name artists in unconventional venues: other episodes include Ringo Starr at New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Elvis Costello at the New York Public Library and Kid Rock at Graceland.

Plant is reportedly working with The Sensational Shape Shifters on a new record, although there’s been no release date set.

– Brian Ives, CBS Local


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