What's the response for a songwriter when a rock god decides to record one of your tunes?
That question came to mind when I got word last week that Robert Plant's new solo album, Band of Joy," due in September, would include, among other roots folk, rock and country songs, his version of Los Lobos' Angel Dance" from their 1990 album, The Neighborhood."
So I put the question to Louie Perez, who wrote the haunting and bittersweet tune with his longtime songwriting collaborator, David Hidalgo.
It was a surprise cuz it wasn't pitched by my publishing peeps," Perez said in an e-mail. [I] haven't heard it yet. I actually talked to him about a week ago -- [he was] asking if David and I were interested in being in the video. Apparently he's been a fan of our songs for a long time. What a huge compliment as well as a thrill to talk to him."
And what a boost if it sells even half of what Raising Sand," Plant's multiplatinum, multiple Grammy-winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, did.
Band of Joy," which will be co-produced by Plant and Americana musician-songwriter- producer Buddy Miller, isn't slated to surface until Sept. 14 -- about five weeks after Los Lobos' new album, Tin Can Trust," hits the streets Aug. 3. In the meantime, here's a scorching 1991 live version from one of the L.A. music scene's finest. You can imagine where Plant might want to go with it.