22 August 2005

R & R For Your Soul

It was a long time coming.

Ever since I saw them on Conan a year ago, I instantly became a fan.

It was a real stretch.
I'm a big fan of traditional country, rhythm and blues...you know, the music that actually started it all when Robert Johnson met the devil at the crossroads of Highway49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi...without which there wouldn't be any popular music of any kind today, be it heavy metal or hip-hop.

So, seeing Robert Randolph & The Family Band performing their steel guitar sonic rendition of Hendrix's best song, Voodoo Child....it was a short trip to the RR bandwagon.

With that, it wasn't until tonight that I finally picked up their studio debut, Unclassified.

Now, the only way to see Robert Randolph y Familia is live, something I enjoyed a few months ago at Music Midtown in Atlanta.

For all the great acts and legendary artists at the Festival, it was the dude growing up in New Jersey with two choices, music or jail, that stole the show.

Honing his sacred steel guitar skills in church, something that he still does when he isn't touring, Robert's mission on this mortal coil is more than an admirable one: To spread the message of love through God and feel good rock n' roll music...never mutually, nor exclusively.
It's more about finding that thing that moves you spiritually, tapping into it, and riding it 'til she bucks ya.

Don't think of him as preachy either. The fact that many of his fans enjoy his shows stoned lends to the irony of his quest.

Says Robert:
"Ummmm, you know. Well church is always going to be different. People don't pay to come to a church service; they don't pay to come hear the music. You know church is a place where you go to sort of let everything out. You're seeking help and guidance in your everyday life at church. At a show people pay to come hear music, pay to come party and things like that. So I try to compromise between the two.

I'm a holy guy; I just know the teaching I was taught in church. And what I try to do is give people musically, through my life experience, and my talent, just show them that hey, you can rock out but I'll give them a message that whenever you are going through some things you can just lean on God a little bit, and just think of what he's done for you. Just give them something else out there positive that they can rock out to."

You know if I played at church every Sunday I would only be playing to a hundred of the same people, meanwhile I'm going out and playing in front of millions of people over the course of the year, so in that sense it's cool."

Cool indeed.

Visit the site. Check out the music on the player along the bottom of said site.

Listen to 30 second samples of Unclassified and Live at the Wetlands at Amazon.com.

Enjoy the spiritual experience...but above all...
Enjoy the R & R.
blog comments powered by Disqus