Robert Randolph and the Family Band
305 E. 5th St
by Derek Van Wagner
Ever dreamed what it would be like if Yo-Yo Ma decided to play a pedal steel instead of a cello? If so, Robert Randolph is the answer to your far-fetched prayers. Randolph was raised in the church playing “sacred steel” nearly his entire life before he was discovered during a music convention in Florida. Not long after, he began playing with the North Mississippi Allstars and John Medeski, followed by collaborations with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Elton John and Leon Russell, onstage and in the studio. Randolph’s virtuosic abilities even landed him on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists” list.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band sound like the Meters … if they were struck by lightning. Their upbeat rhythms and melodies always seem to build to a climax in the same way Gospel and Shout music erupts and takes a hold on the audience — think of James Brown in “The Blues Brothers.” The band consists of Robert Randolph, Marcus Randolph, Lenesha Randolph and Brett Haas, but surely they are looking for more family when they come to Antone’s on Oct. 21. Let’s head on over and show them some love.
Read more from the Architecture Issue | October 2016