Brighter Days Robert Randolph & the Family Band
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- 1Baptise Me04:06
- 2Don't Fight It03:35
- 3Simple Man03:03
- 4Have Mercy04:17
- 5Cut Em Loose03:37
- 6Second Hand Man03:03
- 7Cry Over Me04:47
- 8I Need You03:23
- 9I'm Living Off the Love You Give03:25
- 10Strange Train05:14
Info for Brighter Days
Robert Randolph grew up playing sacred steel music – basically gospel played on pedal steel guitar – on the House of God church in Orange, New Jersey, and began taking his joyous, gospel-infused music out to clubs and into the world.
When it was time to record Brighter Days, after releasing the Grammy-nominated album Got Soul, Robert chose to work with producer Dave Cobb. Cobb is best known for his work with new country stars like Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jason Isbell. Looking beyond anyone's expectations or his own preconceptions helped Randolph circle back to where it all began for him: church music.
Brighter Days is a full dive back to Randolph's gospel roots, mixing it up with blues, soul, funk, and the unmistaken sound of the pedal steel guitar. Robert Randolph makes the instrument weep, wail, scream and holler!
Highly recommended for fans of furious slide guitarists, like Sonny Landreth, Derek Trucks and the almighty Duane Allman.
"All of these songs kind of harken back to how we started, to being known as this musical family band that comes from the church and appeals to rock, blues, gospel and soul music audiences. We wanted that good gospel, blues, R&B feel, because that’s where we started and it’s good to not only remind people of that but to actively remember it ourselves. Dave Cobb is just a guy who likes to record good music and good songs. He wanted to do something that was fun but it also gives you a gospel feeling. He knows the history of our band, coming from church and giving that fun church feeling to people." (Robert Randolph)
Listed among Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Robert Randolph first rose to national prominence with the release of Robert Randolph & the Family Band's 2003 studio debut, Unclassified. The album earned acclaim from the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today and attracted the attention of Eric Clapton, who invited the band to tour as a supporting act. 2006's Colorblind picked up where it's predecessor left off, receiving praise from Vanity Fair, Associated Press and the New York Times and spawning the hit "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That," which has been featured in the television shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Undercover Boss," as well as the films Stomp The Yard and The Game Plan. Most recently, Randolph received a Grammy nomination for "Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals" for his collaboration with The Clark Sisters on the track "Higher Ground" from the all-star collaboration album Oh Happy Day.
Robert Randolph, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Marcus Randolph, drums
Lenesha Randolph, vocals
Danyel Morgan, bass
Produced by Dave Cobb
A virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, Robert Randolph set the music world on fire in 2000 when he began playing his first club dates in New York City. Randolph started playing the instrument as a church-going teenager in Orange, New Jersey, a small city just outside of Newark. He regularly attended the House of God Church, an African-American Pentecostal denomination that had been implementing steel guitars (or "Sacred Steel") in services since the '30s, with the pedal steel in particular being introduced during the '70s. Randolph learned to play by watching other steel players during church services; years later, he updated that sacred basis with a secular mix of funk and soul, giving a new multicultural facelift to an instrument that had often been associated with country music.
In early 2000, Jim Markel heard Randolph play at the Sacred Steel Convention in Florida and subsequently introduced him to his friend Gary Waldman. Together, Waldman and Markel began to manage Randolph's career, which took flight after Matt Hickey, a talent buyer at Manhattan's Bowery Ballroom, signed Randolph on as the opening act for the North Mississippi Allstars. Within a month, Randolph had graduated to the Beacon Theater, where he played alongside Medeski, Martin & Wood. Keyboardist John Medeski enjoyed Randolph's playing so much that he asked him to record an instrumental gospel/blues album with the band. The resulting record, The Word, was released in August 2001 to great critical and popular acclaim.
Randolph's own group, the Family Band, includes cousins Danyell Morgan and Marcus Randolph (bass and drums, respectively) and John Ginty (Hammond B-3 organ). The band's career began with opening gigs for a variety of blues, jazz-funk, and jam bands such as the Derek Trucks Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and Soulive; headlining gigs became the norm within a few months' time. Robert Randolph & the Family Band released Live at the Wetlands in fall 2001, capturing the band's live performance at the legendary Wetlands venue shortly before it closed. The group's studio debut, Unclassified, followed in 2003 and introduced Randolph to an even wider audience. One new fan was veteran guitarist Eric Clapton, who brought the band out on tour and appeared on Robert Randolph's third release, Colorblind, in 2006. In 2010, Randolph teamed up with producer T-Bone Burnett and released the album We Walk This Road which featured guest appearances from Ben Harper, Leon Russell, and Doyle Bramhall II. Randolph spent the better part of three years touring with the Family Band; they signed to Blue Note Records in the interim. Lickety Split appeared in 2013 with guests Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana. ~ Ann Wickstrom
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