Sacred steel guitar seems tied in spirit and substance to its gospel piano counterpart: Both instruments encourage harmony-based performance, yet in the church context each emphasizes the dramatic gesture instead. This is especially true when performed live, as church music by definition tends to be. On this set, Randolph generates an enormous amount of heat. Much of his solo on the opening cut, "Ted's Jam," boils down to little more than a single note played repeatedly; other passages feature quick-picked licks at a Satriani clip. The band's rhythmic support fans these fires; pointed articulation from the bass and drums balances the steel's legato tendencies. At times they sound a lot like the Allman Brothers, in large part because of John Ginty's straightforward style and timbral preferences on organ. This, of course, encourages comparisons between Randolph and Duane Allman -- comparisons that seem more intriguing the longer you listen. Certainly their tones are similar, as are their searing glissandi and aversion to articulated harmonies. Only slower chorded passages, and places where Randolph rips across multiple octaves in about a millionth of a second, highlight the steel's distinctive attributes. What can't be denied is that the presumably ecumenical crowd at Wetlands was into it when Randolph came to, as the artist proclaims at the beginning of the gig, "raise the roof" shortly before the venerable club was torn down.
|Label:||Warner Bros / Wea|
Performance CreditsRobert Randolph & the Family Band Primary Artist
Daniel Morgan Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
John Ginty Organ,Hammond Organ
Robert Randolph Pedal Steel Guitar,Vocals
Marcus Randolph Drums
Technical CreditsJim Scott Engineer
Gary Waldman Management
Ivan Shaw Inspiration
Ted Beard Inspiration
Josh Grier Legal Advisor
Mark Seibel Stage Manager
Chris Templeton Advisor,Guitar Techician
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I say this album is an essential album of soul, not because it belongs to that particular genre, but instead because this recording is filled with soul. Robert Randolph first got attention when he recorded on a Sacred Steel album of pedal steel guitar gospel. He was then sought out by Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. Together with NMA bassist Chris Chew and John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood on organ, the Dickinson brothers formed the Word with Randolph. After the Word, Robert Randolph began touring with his Family band. The power of a Robert Randolph live show is captured in this album. You don't hear Robert Randolph's music. You feel it. It's music to make your body move. It's music to make you stomp your feet. It's music of the soul.
When I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Robert Randloph and his gifted family band at a concert 2 years ago my appreciation of music changed. His energetic live style that moved my soul is pretty much captured in this recording. It is impossible not to feel good and want to dance when you hear RRFB slice through 4 octaves and back again in 3 seconds. Every track on this CD has its own vibe, but it is a live recording and this is a jam band; thus some tracks just go on a little too long. Regardless of the length of a few of the songs, this is a CD worth having.
I saw this group on Austin city limits, and they just knocked my boots off, the music had me and my wife jammin, these guys are great!!!! after the show I went out and got me a cd to keep in my truck