According to a New West Records representative (Buddy Miller’s label), Robert Plant and Buddy Miller recorded “What You Gonna Do Leroy” in a dressing room in Toronto. Miller, of course was one of the musicians on the Raising Sand tour. The song was presented to the label as a rough mix for songs to appear on Miller’s upcoming album.
The song is a Lefty Frizzell single. Frizzell was a leading player in the Honky Tonk Style of country music in the 50s and 60s. Frizzell is also known for his recording of “Long Black Veil” in 1959. The song went on to become a genre-crossing classic and was recorded by numerous artists including The Chieftains (with Mick Jagger on Vocals), Johnny Cash, The Stranglers, Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithfull, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
At the Americana Awards in September 2008, Robert and Buddy performed “What You Gonna Do Leroy” tune for attendees. It’s a honky tonk number that features a smooth fiddle background along side a plodding drum. Robert’s vocal is sort of a honky tonk Elvisy Eddie Cochran.