Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin was performing onstage at Austin’s Continental Club on Saturday night, December 15, when she paused to introduce her husband, Led Zeppelin’s frontman Robert Plant, as her “driver” to the amused crowd. The rock legend went up the stage, wearing a black chauffeur’s cap which he laughingly took off before performing Griffin’s new song “Ohio”.
“Three years ago a guy with big hair and a British accent called me and said he needed help singing on their record,” Griffin told the concertgoers during the first show of the two-night benefit. “I followed him on the road for 18 months and after it all he said he’d be my driver.” The recently-married Plant and Griffin were scheduled to appear at both nights of the show staged for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians medical assistance program, which included Griffin’s longtime friend Michael Fracasso.
Both husband and wife performed each of their own songs and several covers of Led Zeppelin’s hits, including the band’s “Band of Joy” record which first brought them together. Although Griffin officially top billed the show, Plant’s rendition of Led Zeppelin’s classics were the obvious attraction for most of the audience. Plant, together with the other members of the band recently received Kennedy Center honors from President Barack Obama.
There were a lot of respect and admiration between the two artists as they breezed through 17 songs in their entire set. Loving gazes were constantly exchanged and anecdotes about their tour were shared throughout the night’s performance.