Robert Plant's 2007 album with pop-bluegrass songbird Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, did something 25 years of solo records never quite managed. It fully transformed him from former Led Zeppelin golden god into a roots singer. Plant had never sung so tenderly or collaboratively, commanding a crack modern string band that defined power in terms other than "Physical Graffiti".
John Mellencamp's 25th album, "No Better Than This," continues the thread of American archaeology that he began on "Trouble No More," a self-produced 2003 set of traditional songs and covers. But where "Trouble" was a first brush with history -- Mellencamp trying to make it come to him -- here he meets that history on its home ground.
The unlikely alchemy of a hard-rock legend and a bluegrass superstar created Grammy gold Sunday night, as Robert Plant and Alison Krauss picked up five awards -- including album and record of the year -- for their work, "Raising Sand."
As a concert, the Grammy Awards are often well worth watching. Witness Sly Stone coming out of retirement, or the raucous tribute to the Clash's Joe Strummer a few years back, or even the hushed opening by a reunited Simon & Garfunkel in 2003.
Jessica Simpson, who has been talking about recording a country album, got to chat with a legend of rock 'n' roll – former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant – at a taping of CMT's Crossroads near Nashville on Thursday night.