Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Please Read the Letter that I Wrote!

Dear Kay,
Yesterday, I awoke to the sound of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant singing “Please Read the Letter That I Wrote” on NPR, on account of they won the Grammy for Record of the Year. Record of the year! This peculiar collaboration has been the talk of Nashville ever since Robert Plant came to town and rented a house to do this project. Such a head-bonking combo! Hearing his superfamous Led Zeppelin voice paired up with Alison’s silvery soprano is such a surprise. So great.
(This profile about them makes me love Robert Plant so much. So musical, and humble.)
So of COURSE, hearing this song on this particular day gave me a CHILL, I tell you, because soon after I heard it, I was scheduled to
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head up to Joelton
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down a gravel road, which is how you tend to find recording studios around Nashville
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to do just what Alison and Robert were singing: yesterday was my day to read the letter that I wrote! OK, the letters that I wrote–to you–along with that knitting book we did together. I was cooking up my part of our audiobook for Knitting Out Loud . . .
This is David:
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However weird this gig was for him, I assured him that it was way weirder for me. He seemed to be game enough, though he did ask me whether there was any difference between knitters and quilters, to which I answered, “Well, uh, of COURSE.”
David stored me in the knitter containment facility:
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And made sure I had enough
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conga drums and books.
One cool thing about this project was that Kathy Goldner, the creator of Knitting Out Loud, was in my ear the whole time, from Maine, telling me what to do. I can hardly tell you how sad I was after I left and realized that she wasn’t going to be there anymore. It would be so helpful to have her in my ear all the time, whispering things like, “Compliment her shoes.” “Don’t say THAT.” “Go feed the cats.”
And of course, it being Nashville, David knows the bass player on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s album . . . he had excellent dish about Jack White, and western swing bands, and the future of the Station Inn, which looks rosy . . .
I guess I can cross another of my lifelong fantasies off my list: spending a day in a Nashville recording studio. I can’t wait to hear how your session goes up there in New York. Maybe we should do a collaboration, or something?
Love,
Ann

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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. How fabulous is this! Ya’ll never cease to amaze me.

  2. One can never have enough Conga drums and books.

  3. Oh my, dish about Jack White! please share.

  4. Wow – I love living vicariously in your glam-fab lives! You should have added a little drumming in your recording, we would have loved to hear it!

  5. I saw Robert Plant & Alison Krauss in concert in Seattle last year – one of the highlight shows I saw in 2008! And I love the Station Inn, I’ve been there for some memorable shows. Can’t wait to hear the results of your recording gig.
    Andrea

  6. book shelves are my most favorite sound baffles ever- There’s a studio in the Boston area that just bought bunches from Goodwill, and you can always find something interesting in there. (Like a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, which thrilled my Little Women obsessed self.)

  7. I was listening to the exact same NPR broadcast and couldn’t believe what I was listening to. I’ve seen Allison at the original Opry house…..oooo my but Robert Plant, a fifty somethings womens dream!
    Oh, if you had gone right at the sign to Springfield, you could of said hi to my daughter who goes to Austin Peay!
    Marianne in Tucson

  8. Since I somehow missed out on Led Zep entirely–huge gap in my musical education but what can I say–when I heard this record (of the Year!) it didn’t seem weird to me at all. I just thought, who does this rootsy, rusty old genuine country voice belong to? Who is this Robert Plant? Why is his name vaguely familiar to me? Was he the one who did that Simply Irresistible video I loved so much in the 80s? No? Another Robert P?
    Not even kidding!
    Sipping herb tea to lubricate my priceless vocal chords for Thursday…..
    Kay

  9. Wait, books are sound baffles? Just what I needed, another reason to horde my books, right when I am trying to let go of a good stack of them.
    I’m a musician with a fear of microphones (and probably recording studios, too), and my assortment of instruments competes for space with the books in my little house.

  10. I love that song, and I think I should get that album now… Very cool about the recording studio! I can’t wait to hear what you said! :)

  11. Such a great album! I knew it would go big when it came out last year.
    So Nashville really is that musical? Excellent. I have totally decided that Nashville is where I want to live. I’m finishing up my degree, and moving there, and buying a house! And my husband and the dog can come too, if they want ;)

  12. Did she just ask if Nashville realy is that musical? Do they make movies in L.A.? I want to know if you took any knitting with you?

  13. So glad to hear the Station Inn is going strong. Someday we’ll make it there to hear the world’s best fingerpickin’. When do we get to hear you guys knitting out loud?

  14. Yesterday morning my 14-year-old informed me that “some old dude” won Record of the Year!

  15. This was such a great post – I love the photos, but where’s the one of you wearing huge earphones?

  16. Please oh please spill the beans on the Jack White dish! Pretty please?

  17. What a wonderful experience you had. Could you have begun to imagine where knitting and a love for Rowan would have taken you and Kay?
    I have always loved Alison Krauss, and when I heard this album was once again amazed by the collaborations which occur in the music industry.

  18. I’m going to be listening for those conga drums…
    ; )

  19. That is one of my dreams, too. The home studio just isn’t the same (I have been IN a couple of real studios, but just with the “real” musician). I am so glad Plant and Krauss won, too. I just love that music.Good knitting music!

  20. Do you sound like you sound?
    Whose guitars are up there on the wall? Did you touch them?
    Did you push any buttons or turn any knobs while no one was looking, or are they too cagey for that kind of fun?

  21. You mean you weren’t there to record “Pardon Me, I Didn’t Knit That for You”? Maybe NEXT time…

  22. I got to see Plant & Krauss together in Berkeley last year when their tour started and it was AMAZING! I have enjoyed Krauss and Union Station for many years but this CD of the two of them just knocked my socks off! I was so happy to see they got the recognition for their amazing voice combo!
    If you get a chance, can you Kinnear (sneak) a picture of the cottage Plant stayed in while recording with Krauss? :o) ek.

  23. Pretty neat that you would hear the song and then have the experience. It will be helpful when someone writes “Mason-Dixon Knitting, the Musical.”

  24. “he did ask me whether there was any difference between knitters and quilters”
    I dunno. Is there any difference between a fiddle and a box of banjos?

  25. This is the third or fourth recommendation of the Plant/Krauss album I’ve read… I will definitely have to pick it up.
    And if you played congas on the audiotape I will get that too!
    I don’t know if you read Dances with Wool (Lene’s blog) but she’s just finished a beautiful, slighty different and so her own, Margaret.
    http://lenealve.blogspot.com/2009/02/margaret-finished.html

  26. i still have my first magazine
    clipping about the ann and kay
    and the afghans 1000 squares i think
    just look at you all and we all
    haveing a fine time of it
    kay try a little honey with
    the tea-an audio book with a southern
    accent toujours gai ann toursjours gai

  27. What a great band Robert Plante & Alison Krauss have! Last night we went to a concert where four performers alternated songs: Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin – and Buddy Miller, who barely made it to upstate NY after playing guitar in that band with them at the Grammys. (Buddy was the guy playing lead guitar in the background while T-Bone Burnett played rhythm out front.) A touch of the Big Time in our little town!

  28. HunH! and Kay accused me of having a fabulouslife???!!!
    I wish it were an LP so I could shoot the album cover..

  29. Too cool! I love and own that album. I’ve seen her in concert a couple of times and would go crazy to see the two of them together!! Lucky you to be so close!

  30. Too cool! I love and own that album. I’ve seen her in concert a couple of times and would go crazy to see the two of them together!! Lucky you to be so close!

  31. Too cool! I love and own that album. I’ve seen her in concert a couple of times and would go crazy to see the two of them together!! Lucky you to be so close!

  32. Thank you, thank you for pointing out that interview on YouTube. Wonderful!

  33. Well there’s a bustle in my hedgegrow
    And I’m alarmed, now
    ‘Cos Kay
    Never heard
    “Stairway”.
    Wow, Kay! You “missed” (like totally m-i-s-s-e-d) Led Zeppelin?! Never even heard “Stairway to Heaven? Not once? Not a tiny, teeney little bit at a wedding or dance?
    You have distinguished yourself in much the same way as I have, me never having seen any of the Star War movies…
    But you sure can crank out a 900 stitch ruffle now, can’t you? And that’s where it counts. Knit on!
    LoveDiane

  34. Joelton?! I lived in Joelton! Now I live closer to Springfield. Sounds like a fun experience!

  35. I love Nashville! DH & I were there at Thankgiving and enjoyed the music of the SteelDrivers at the Station Inn. Ann, you are so lucky to live there, or should I say, Nashville is so lucky to have you live there.

  36. It’s so crazy, all the oldsters gettin’ in on the act! I love Robert Plant, he’s still quite the hottie (to me anyway). And I have to agree, if you’ve got some gossip about Jack White to share, why clam up now? Get to gabbin’ missy…inquiring minds want to know, you know! (If I were a cat, I’d be dead!)

  37. I foresee my first “Knitting Out Loud” purchase! Audiobooks are my friend, but put you + Kay + audiobooks together and I’m gonna be untouchable. (Don’t ask what that means, I’m not very awake today.)
    I wanted to make triple sure you saw this article: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090208/FEATURES01/902080304
    It is SOoooOOooo nice to see a recording studio full of books.

  38. really

  39. Great post (well, thay are all great posts)! This album is on the top of my shopping list this weekend.
    Passionate knitter that I am, could I be imagining it, or is that a sheep on Robert’s shirt???? Humble…and a kindred spirit?

  40. Great post (well, thay are all great posts)! This album is on the top of my shopping list this weekend.
    Passionate knitter that I am, could I be imagining it, or is that a sheep on Robert’s shirt???? Humble…and a kindred spirit?

  41. What a great experience! Aren’t recording studios fun? Especially if someone cool has recorded there. I had the experience of recording a project for work – nothing as exciting as your project at all – but it WAS in the same studio where Raffi and Sarah McLachlan once recorded!
    (And – Raising Sand? One of the best albums E-VAR!)

  42. Howdy,
    I own the studio where Ann did her recording, and I think that she’s a jewel who did a fabulous job of reading. I didn’t even know that she was taking pictures, or she could have taken my better side – if I HAVE a better side…
    The books do make fine diffusors, but they’re mostly in the studio because I needed more shelf space (those in my house are all filled up). In any case, I’d like to thank y’all for the kind words about the studio.
    And if I didn’t know the difference between quilters and knitters, it’s just because I don’t get out much…
    Dave Martin
    Java Jive Studio
    Nashville, TN

  43. cool comment from dave martin. and: thanks ann for the link to the little documentary about the plant/krauss collaboration; i loved it too. it did send me back into the youtube archives to videos from LiveAid (why?) and i much prefer Plant in 2007. humbler, kinder, gentler. less wembley.

  44. p.s. how was the coffee?

  45. How very cool is that!! And you did it all in one sitting??

  46. I too got to see Robert Plant& Alison Krauss when they played here in London…. absolutely wonderful two amazing voices blending beautifully.