Robert Plant Shares ‘Charlie Patton Highway (Turn it Up, Pt. 1),’ a Previously Unheard Song from His Upcoming 2-CD Anthology ‘Digging Deep’ (Listen)

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Robert Plant is a singular vocalist, the type whose voice inspires awe and wonder at just how he’s able to sing like that. It was his calling card for years with Led Zeppelin, his presence (pun intended) at the forefront of the English band’s unmistakable sound.

Plant’s creative innovation moved far beyond the Zeppelin days with a prolific solo career that exists to this day — and he recently announced a new anthology compilation, Digging Deep: Subterranea, a 2-CD collection that includes three previously unreleased songs that will be out on Oct. 2.

(Click here to browse Robert Plant’s catalog of music in our Rock Cellar Store)

One of those songs, “Charlie Patton Highway (Turn it Up, Pt. 1),” was premiered by Robert Plant on Friday as a preview of the anthology:

“I spent time in the hill country of north Mississippi around Como, dropping back to Clarksdale, the incredible center of black music talent over the years,” said Plant of the song. “I weaved my car through the Delta back roads, listening to the remarkable protestations of Mississippi AM radio. I was looking at my world and my times from this unfamiliar place and found myself exposed to a nightmare world of half-truths.”

The set will span 30 songs and four decades of music, and will feature three previously unreleased new recordings. The musical journey will take listeners through Plant’s unpredictable career, and along the way will feature guest appearances from Jimmy Page, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Phil Collins, Nigel Kennedy, Richard Thompson and Strange Sensation/ The Sensational Space Shifters.

It should come as no surprise to those aware of Plant’s career trajectory to consider that this doesn’t have much at all to do with his musical output with Led Zeppelin. In 2018, Plant spoke with Rock Cellar’s Jeff Slate about his album Carry Fire (click here to pick up a copy), and explained why he isn’t seeking “success” in the vein of selling millions of records anymore:

“It’s okay on the way up to think that’s all it’s all about, but when you’ve been there and you know how shatteringly insular everything becomes, then your relationship with this carnival we have becomes priceless. To try and make it something to fit in with a symbol of success just for the hell of it, I don’t think that’s really where I’m at this time in my life.”

The timing of the announcement of Digging Deep was linked to the premiere of the third season of Plant’s ongoing podcast, Digging Deep with Robert Plant. Per a news release, five brand new episodes will premiere every two weeks, all recorded earlier this year with BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt before a live audience at London’s Rough Trade East.

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