Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CD Review: Robert Randolph Walks "This Road"

Robert Randolph has always had trouble capturing his extraordinary live sound in the studio. His first album "Unclassified" failed to make an impact, while his second album "Colorblind" brought in some special guests to help his sound grow. Well, his third album is about to change all that. Instead of following the jamband sound of his live act into the studio, Robert Randolph decided to explore the studio with the help of producer T Bone Burnett on "We Walk This Road." Robert Randolph tries to capture a century's worth of American music in 56 minutes and makes a valid attempt at it.

"We Walk The Road" begins with the gospel, sing along "Traveling Shoes." The addition of vocals supplied by Lenesha Randolph and Danyel Morgan highlight the breaks between Robert's pedal steel guitar solos. The album features a number of cover songs including the r&b flavored "Back To the Wall" and Fleetwood Mac influenced "I Still Belong To Jesus." Bob Dylan's "Shot Of Love" gets new life with the searing guitar of Robert Randolph while Prince's "Walk Don't Walk" plays perfectly to the album's overall sound. "I'm Not Listening" is a protest song for the African American people with its building drum beats and shout of "Yeah!" The album closes with "Salvation," a gentle gospel infused sing along that features the legendary Leon Russell on piano.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band are currently touring the US. They will make a stop in Connecticut on July 30 at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival in Bridgeport. Their tour concludes at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. Check out the band's website ( for a complete list of tour dates and for a free download of their new song "Traveling Shoes."

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