Robert Randolph and The Family Band

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Robert Randolph and The Family Band

This record is a celebration of African-American music over the past one hundred years and its social messages from the last thirty. Although we cover a whole timeline of different eras on We Walk This Road, what ties these songs together remain their message of hope, their ability to uplift.

After we finished our last record, Colorblind, we began searching for a great producer to help guide the follow up. We wanted someone who understood me and the road I’ve walked this far, who understood our connections of my roots within rock and gospel and the church, who would help us put those things in their most compelling context.

T Bone Burnett shared the vision of how gospel, blues and rock could be put together in a way that could relate to my history and connect to my present. It was important to us that we make the record we wanted to make, even if the end result was unclassifiable. We just focused on making great songs and great music that spoke to me, and that reflected the way I try to speak to the world.

We recorded We Walk This Road over about two years, after T Bone had finished his record with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. We went into the studio with virtual libraries of songs, whole volumes worth of material to go through. T Bone brought in old archival songs from the twenties and thirties and many of them were in the public domain. I had songs that I had written with the band, or that other artists had sent me, and we sat down and starting sifting through history.

When we found something we liked, we would either cover it or re-work it using our own words or melodies. Through this creation came an education. T Bone opened a lot of doors for me serving as a link between the past and the present. He knows how to take something from the past and bring it into the present while still allowing the artist to make it his own, in the same way that Hendrix took Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and made it belong to him.

T Bone listens to music that our grandmothers would listen to as children–not even music that our fathers listened to, but songs that go even further back…some from Gospel and Christian blues, the music that people working in fields across the south likely sang nearly a century ago. Those are the real roots of rock and roll, where everything else comes from.

I was only allowed to listen to modern Christian and gospel music growing up, so there was so much I didn’t know about. My mind is expanded now. The record is finished and I still feel as if I’m not done. I’ve spent over $5,000 on iTunes in the past eighteen months just catching up. Before this record, I didn’t sift through music past the Seventies. I didn’t know about Blind Willie Johnson, or Chess Records. I thank T Bone for being a tour guide into the deepest parts of my musical roots.

We connected the last one hundred years of African-American music in the way people used to: You write your own songs, you cover other people’s material, you re-work older songs. We had some amazing people come in to help. Leon Russell came by to hang out and wound up playing piano on the last track, “Salvation.” Ben Harper plays guitar and sings on “If I Had My Way.” The base of that song came from Blind Willie Johnson, and it was really difficult to get right. It was a country tune for a while. I had honestly given up on it. But Ben came down and said, “Let me get in there! I know just what to do!” He went in there and smoked the choruses, and I thought, “Now we’ve got a tune.” It’s one of my favorite songs on the record.

This event is 21 and over

For tickets click here

For further information click here

Robert Randolph and The Family Band
Event Category: Live Music
When: November 29, 2013
Time: 8:00pm
Where: Brooklyn Bowl
Cost: $$20
More Info: http://www.brooklynbowl.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrooklynBowl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brooklynbowl/


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