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Beth Hart - A Tribute to Led Zeppelin


by Kevin Wierzbicki

Beth Hart - A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

It's always interesting to hear how an artist fares when they decide to honor the body of work of a band that came long before them, especially when the band in question is a major legacy group. Here blues rocker Beth Hart, a frequent collaborator with Joe Bonamassa, takes on the heaviest blues rockers of all time, Led Zeppelin. And she does just fine. Hart is blessed with the perfect voice for the chosen material and her honey-and-whiskey vocals carry the appropriate amount of gravitas on opening track "Whole Lotta Love." Hart's backup band know their Zeppelin licks too; guitarists Tim Pierce and Rob Cavallo, drummer Dorian Crozier, bass man Chris Chaney and keys player Jamie Muhoberac (with orchestration from David Campbell on cuts like "Kashmir") faithfully reproduce the original arrangements with only slight variations. Just about everything here is from Zep's heaviest side; "The Crunge," "Dancing Days"/"When the Levee Breaks," "Black Dog," "No Quarter"/"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Good Times Bad Times" but there's also a taste of the band's mellower side with a nice take on "Rain Song." The effort also features an obligatory cover of "Stairway to Heaven," Zeppelin's half mellow/half rocking signature tune on which Matt Laug handles drums. Everybody knows all these songs by heart and it's refreshing to hear Hart and company perform them so well.

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