New Tunes at 9 Roundup: Robert Randolph & The Family Band
RADIO FRIEND PHIL – Greetings! It’s time for this week’s New Tunes at 9 Roundup. (New Tunes at 9, one-hour of new and emerging music, weeknights at 9 p.m. on WJTL.) For this week’s Roundup, I want to feature the exhilarating sounds of Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Robert Randolph (along with his cousins and friends), assembled their band at the House of God Church in East Orange, New Jersey. This particular church had been utilizing steel guitars in their services, dating all the way back to the 1930s. Eventually, the pedal steel was introduced in the 1970s, inspiring the young Robert Randolph to absorb what he has hearing from the other steel players. He effectively updated the sacred basis with his own mix of rock, funk, gospel, and R&B.
Randolph was also heavily influenced by late Texas-blues great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he’s been outspoken in saying that he yearns to play the pedal steel with the intensity that Vaughan played his guitar. “If I don’t sell a million records, but if we help people move toward being a better person in life, and lean more toward believing in God,” Randolph says, “that will mean a lot.” For more on Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and their new project “Lickety Split,” released this week, go http://robertrandolph.net/